Three Paths from Law Enforcement to Compliance: Cases from the Fisheries

By Gezelius, Stig S. | Human Organization, Winter 2007 | Go to article overview

Three Paths from Law Enforcement to Compliance: Cases from the Fisheries


Gezelius, Stig S., Human Organization


The article addresses three mechanisms whereby enforcement may generate compliance among citizens: the Hobbesian mechanism, which emphasizes deterrence, the Habermasian mechanism, which emphasizes rational communication, and the Durkheimian mechanism, which emphasizes enforcement's symbolic meaning. It addresses these mechanisms in three ethnographic studies of compliance in fisheries, and argues that the Durkheimian view of law enforcement has unjustly been neglected in compliance research and deserves a place alongside the Hobbesian and Habermasian views.

Key words: enforcement, fisheries, compliance, morality

Three Views on Law Enforcement

Writings on citizens' law-abidingness have often emphasised the deterrent effects of formal law enforcement (Friedland, Thibaut, and Walker 1973; Kuperan and Sutinen 1998; Meier and Johnson 1977; Tyler 1990). This view can be traced to the legacy of Thomas Hobbes (1984 [ 1651 ]), who regards law as a representation of the mutual interests of citizens who are incapable of creating social order through moral community. Hobbes' state imposes external rules upon individuals and ensures their compliance "by the terrour of some punishment, greater than the benefit they expect by the breach of their Covenant...." (Hobbes 1984 [1651]: 101). In modern social theory, the Hobbesian legacy is represented by the economic view of crime and deterrence (Becker 1968), and will be referred to as the "Hobbesian mechanism" of law enforcement.

More than two centuries later, Emile Durkheim developed his theory of social order that opposed Hobbes' pessimistic view. Durkheim (1984 [1893]) sees penal law as the representation citizens' shared morality. Except for in "rare, pathological cases" (p. 26), it emerges as the welldefined expressions of civil society's collective consciousness. Durkheim regards penal law as the manifestation of a latent social solidarity; the state is thus a continuation of civil society's moral community. Crime emerges as an attack on this collective moral consciousness, and punishment represents society's emotional response. The punishment highlights the deviant and reproachable nature of the crime, and thus confirms the moral unity that has been attacked. Punishment's main function is thus to symbolically restore the moral order of society.

Hobbes and Durkheim formed different legacies in terms of the role of rationality in social theory. In modern social science, the Hobbesian perspective is associated with utilitarian rational choice theory, while the Durkheimian legacy is less concerned with rationality than with the social psychology of normative action. Modem contributions developed intermediate positions, emphasising the rational aspects of normative action. Weber's (1978 [1921]) idea of "value rationality" has been developed in Habermas' (1984) theory of communicative action, which addresses the conditions for rational consensus through communication subject to clear criteria of validity.

Research on crime and law-abidingness has drawn on all of these three schools of thought, but the Hobbesian legacy's influence has been greatest in terms of law enforcement's regulatory effect. Formal enforcement variables, such as risk of detection and severity of penalty, have often been regarded as indicators of the explanatory power of rational choice theory, while the Durkheimian legacy has been associated with explanations that are not directly linked with enforcement, such as the actor's moral development, the behavior of the actor's peers, and the perceived legitimacy of regulations (Grasmick and Green 1980; Paternoster et al. 1983). This pattern is observed in the literature on compliance in fisheries, which was dominated by neoclassical economics for several years (Andersen and Lee 1986; Blewett, Furlong, and Toews 1987; Furlong 1991; Sutinen and Andersen 1985) before normative action received attention (Gezelius 2002, 2006; Hatcher et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Three Paths from Law Enforcement to Compliance: Cases from the Fisheries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.