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Associate Professor of Criminology, University of Cambridge

Justice Tankebe is Associate Professor of Criminology and a Fellow at St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge. He holds an MPhil degree in criminological research and a PhD in criminology from the University of Cambridge. Justice has held postdoctoral research fellowships from the ESRC, the British Academy, and Fitzwilliam College. Prior to his current appointment, he was a teaching associate on the Police Executive Programme at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge. Justice attended Agogo State Secondary School (now Agogo State College), Ghana. He studied sociology at the University of Ghana, Legon, where he also worked as a teaching assistant.

Justice's interests lie in policing, legitimation and legitimacy, organisational justice, corruption, vigilantism and extra-legal punishment, comparative criminology, sociology of law, crime and criminal justice in sub-Saharan Africa. His current research projects include legitimacy and counter-terrorism policing, corruption among prospective elites, sentencing decision-making in Ghana, the death penalty in Africa, and police self-legitimacy. Students interested in doctoral studies in any of these areas of interest should contact Justice with a synopsis of their research proposal.

Selected Publications
Journal Articles
Tankebe, J (2019) Cooperation With the Police Against Corruption: Exploring the Roles of Legitimacy, Deterrence and Collective Action Theories, The British Journal of Criminology 59(6): 1390–1410
Tankebe, J. (2019). In their own eyes: an empirical examination of police self-legitimacy. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 43(2), 99-116.
Tankebe, J., Karstedt, S., & Adu-Poku, S. (2019). Corruption Intentions Among Prospective Elites in Ghana: An Economy of Esteem. International Criminal Justice Review, 29(2), 168-186.
Ariel. B. & Tankebe, J. (2018) Ethnic Stratification and Multiple Outcomes in Police Stops and Searches. Policing and Society 28(5): 507–525
Tankebe, J. & Asif, M. (2016) Legitimacy and Public Support for Vigilante Violence in Pakistan. International Journal of Comparative Criminology and Applied Criminal Justice
Tankebe, J., Reisig, M., and Wang, X. A. (2016) Multidimensional Model of Police Legitimacy: A Cross-cultural Assessment. Law & Human Behavior 40(1): 11-22
Tankebe, J., Hills, A. & Cole, B. (2014) Emerging Issues of Crime and Justice in Africa: An Introduction. Special Issue of Criminology & Criminal Justice 14(1): 3-7
Tankebe, J. (2014) The Making of Democracy's Champions: Police Support for Democracy in Ghana.Special Issue of Criminology & Criminal Justice 14(125-43
Tankebe, J. (2013) In Search of Moral Recognition? Policing and Eudaemonic Legitimation in Ghana. Special Issue of Law & Social Inquiry 38(3): 576-597
Tankebe, J. (2013) Viewing Things Differently: Examining the Dimensions of Public Perceptions of Police Legitimacy. Criminology 51(1): 103-135
Bottoms, A. E. and Tankebe, J. (2012) Beyond Procedural Justice: A Dialogic Approach to Legitimacy in Criminal Justice. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 102: 119-170
Tankebe, J. (2011) Explaining Police Support for Use of Force and Vigilante Violence in Ghana. Policing & Society 21(2): 129-149
Tankebe, J. (2010) Public Confidence in the Police: Testing the Effects of Experience of Police Corruption in Ghana. British Journal of Criminology 50 (2): 296-319
Tankebe, J. (2009) Public Cooperation with the Police in Ghana: Does Procedural Fairness Matter? Criminology: An International Journal 47(4): 1265-1293
Tankebe, J. (2009) Self-Help, Policing and Procedural Justice: Vigilantism and the Rule of Law in Ghana. Law and Society Review 43(2): 245-269
Tankebe, J. (2009). Policing, procedural fairness and public behaviour: A review and critique.International Journal of Police Science & Management, 11(1): 8-19.
Tankebe, J. Colonialism, legitimation, and policing in Ghana. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 36(1): 67-84.

Books and Book Chapters
Bottoms, A. E. and Tankebe, J (2017) Police Legitimacy and the Authority of the State. In A. du Bois-Pedain, M. Ulväng and P. Asp (eds.) Criminal Law and the Authority of the State. Oxford: Hart Publishing
Meško, G. & Tankebe, J. (2015, eds.)Trust and Legitimacy in Criminal Justice: European Perspectives in Europe. New York: Springer
Tankebe, J. & Meško, G. (2015) Police Self-Legitimacy, Use of Force, and Pro-Organisational Behaviour in Slovenia. In Meško, G. & Tankebe, J. (eds.) Trust and Legitimacy in Criminal Justice: European Perspectives. New York: Springer
Tankebe, J. (2014) Police Legitimacy. In M. D. Reisig & J. Kane (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing. New York: Oxford University Press
Bottoms, A. E and Tankebe, J. (2013) 'Voice Within': Power-holders'Perspectives on Authority and Legitimacy. In J. Tankebe and A. Liebling (eds.) Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: An International Exploration. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Tankebe, J. and Liebling A. (2013) (eds.) Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: An International Exploration. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Tankebe, J. (2010) Legitimation and Resistance: Police Reform in the (un)making. In L. K. Cheliotis (ed.) Roots, Rites and Sites of Resistance: The Banality of Good. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (pp.197 - 245)


  • –present
    Lecturer in Criminology, University of Cambridge