«Dissertations Forestales 149 Forest law compliance in the High-Forest Zone of Ghana: an analysis of forest farmers’ livelihoods, their forest ...»
Alongside the theoretical framework, the empirical research have tested and confirmed that peoples’ values can be used as predictors of their behaviour (Keeney 1994, Karppinen 1998, Manning et al. 1999, Brown and Reed 2000, Ford et al. 2009). One component of the current study focuses on the values that forest farmers assign to forest – forest values of farmers, and the influence of these values on farmers’ law compliance behaviour (compliance with the rule that prohibits farmers to fell trees). For this purpose, based on the literature, first a classification of forest values was established (Rolston and Coufal 1991, Bengston and Xu 1995, Manning et al. 1999, Moyer et al. 2008) (Appendix I). Second, further considerations of the law compliance theory were made.
2.3 Theoretical perspectives of compliance and models of rule compliance
The theories of compliance deal with the fundamental question: why people obey the law?
Two general perspectives are possible to distinguish: instrumental and normative perspective of law compliance (Tyler 1990, Honneland 1999). According to the instrumental perspective, people are rational individuals who obey laws because of expected costs and benefits of compliant and non-compliant behaviour (e.g. expected illegal gain vs. expected fear and extent of sanction). This perspective is based on the logic of rational choice and emphasises the role of deterrence and coercive measures on the individuals’ compliance behaviour (Becker 1968). The normative perspective, on the other hand, maintains that people obey laws because of normative reasons, such as values and norms. The normative perspective in particular emphasises the role of norms, and more recently the role of legitimacy on compliance behaviour. Norms can be defined as commonly accepted rules that prescribe desirable behaviour, and forbid behaviour that have been deemed undesirable (Posner 1997, Cialdini and Trost, 1998, Hatcher and Pascoe 2006). Legitimacy, on the other hand, is about the support given to a political authority or authorities to direct behaviour, to enact and implement laws, decisions and regulation. Tyler (1990) proposes that legitimacy of an authority is judged based on persons’ normative, not instrumental reasons. It should be noted that the instrumental perspective is also known as ‘the logic of consequence’, and the normative one as ‘the logic of appropriateness’ (Zaelke et al. 2005a).
The assumption that peoples’ values may influence their law compliance behaviour is based on the normative perspective of compliance; more specifically on the assumption that social and personal norms may influence behaviour. As explained below, social and personal norms, as principles and morals adopted at group and individual level, effectively guide and constrain behaviour without the use of formal laws and sanctions (Cialdini and Trost 1998). In summary, compliance behaviour is determined by the following factors of compliance: (i) instrumental factors, such as costs and benefits, sanctions and inducement or rewards for compliance; (ii) norms or morals, e.g. personal values, tradition, culture, group behaviour; and (iii) legitimacy, e.g. general satisfaction with authorities and their decisions, participation in decision making process (Tyler 1990, Honneland 1999, Nielsen 2003).
While factors of compliance emphasised in the theories of law compliance are related to individual-level motivations for compliance (e.g. costs, benefits, norms and personal values), the emerging research on compliance in forestry emphasises the role of external and context-specific factors (e.g. market and trade, regulatory and legal constraints, ownership rights, corruption) (Contreras-Hermosilla and Peter 2005, World Bank 2006, Tacconi 2007a, Blasser 2010, Palo and Lehti 2012). The contextual factors appear to be associated with higher structural levels, going beyond individual, to include factors associated to a group, community, state, and ultimately the globe.
2.3.1 The instrumental model of compliance behaviour
The instrumental compliance model proposes that individuals respond to the distribution of potential benefits and costs associated with compliant vs. non-compliant alternatives. It is also commonly known as the ‘general deterrence model’ (Becker 1968, Nostbakken 2008), since compliance is typically encouraged by influencing the costs, through a combination of monitoring and sanctioning to deter individually rational, but socially inferior outcomes.
Rigid interpretations of this model suggest that individuals will only comply when the expected costs, calculated as the product of the perceived probability of detection and expected sanction, exceed the expected benefits of the non-compliant alternative (Ehrlich 1973, Young 1979). While most behavioural scholars acknowledge that instrumental motivations play a role in the compliance decision, observations of higher than expected levels of compliance in a wide array of public goods (e.g. tax compliance) and commonpool resources settings (e.g. community forestry) refutes the universality of the instrumental model (Gezelius 2002, Nielsen and Mathiesen 2003, Murphy 2005, Viteri and Chávez 2007). Nevertheless, the instrumental model retains its dominance, particularly in the situations where interpersonal communication and mutual trust are absent (Ostrom 1998, Ostrom et al. 1999).
2.3.2 Institutional and norm-oriented model of compliance behaviour
Many scholars seeking to explain discrepancies between the instrumental model and field observations highlight the role of institutions – the socially constructed rules and norms of human society. While some institutionalists conceptualize institutions as constraints (North 1990); others view them as normative preferences that individual’s value in-and-of themselves (Andreoni 1989). These models build upon the rational-choice tradition, but involve normative parameters to the calculation of individual benefits and costs. They often lead to similar predictions using distinct theoretical paths, or in other cases complement each other.
Scholars that conceptualize institutions as constraints would highlight the role of social norms and sanctions (e.g. peer-pressure) in the compliance decision (Coleman 1987, Posner 1996). The self-interested actor that dominates this school considers instrumental benefits and costs, but adjusts these values to reflect costs of the non-compliance alternative such as the loss of social status, exclusion, or other forms of social sanctions. Compliance occurs when groups adopt norms that attach sufficient social sanctions to overcome the instrumental difference between compliant and non-compliant alternatives. The institutions as preferences school would counter this argument by suggesting that individuals learn to adopt norms, such as reciprocity and inequity aversion, and prefer outcomes that satisfy certain normative conditions, irrespective to social sanctions (Cialdini and Trost 1998). The individual that adopts a reciprocity norm learns to value interpersonal trust and will comply when their peers have developed a reputation for trustworthiness (Ostrom 2005).
Individuals that adopt inequity aversion norms, on the other hand, value equality and are more concerned with how instrumental outcomes are distributed within groups (Fehr and Schmidt 1999).
Somewhat similar division as that described between institutions as constraints and institutions as preference can be made between social and personal norms and their impacts on compliance behaviour. Although there appears to be lack of consensus in the literature, a general distinction can be made between social and personal norms. Social norms are those that are understood and accepted by members of a group, and that guide and/or constrain behaviour in a social space, group, or society (Cialdini and Trost 1998). Behaviour in this case is controlled through peer pressure or disapproval (Posner 1996, Posner 1997).
Personal norms, on the other hand, more directly concern one’s own personal beliefs and ethical values, irrespective of the actions and expectations of the others (Posner 1997, Hatcher and Pascoe 2006). Personal norms are principles (including social norms) that have been internalised by an individual, so that they influence behaviour even in the absence of external factors and social sanctions (Posner 1997, Hatcher and Pascoe 2006). The influence of norms on compliance is facilitated by the phenomenon of general conformity (Cialdini and Trost 1998), whereby groups of individuals tend to adopt similar norms and the actions that they prescribe.
2.3.3 The concept of legitimacy and its role in rule compliance behaviour
The second normative model of compliance reflects the influences emerging from the political environment, and concerns in particular the role of the perceived legitimacy of authorities and the rule-making processes on compliance behaviour. The literature abounds with different conceptions and approaches to legitimacy, grounded in different disciplines, from political science (Bernstein 2005) to sociology (Suchman 1995) and psychology (Tyler 1990). Empirical research, on the other hand, discusses different roles of legitimacy in practice (Kuperan and Sutinen 1999, Viteri and Chávez 2007, Gritten and Saastamoinen 2011).
Bernstein (2005) discusses legitimacy in the context of global environmental governance, focusing therefore on the issues surrounding the international relations, international law and the global authority. In this context the concept of legitimacy transcends the traditional nation state boundaries, as well as the notion of international community, where states are seen as the only sources and seekers of authority (Bernstein and Cashore 2007, Bernstein 2005, 2011). Bernstein (2005) proposes the following conceptions of legitimacy: principled (or legitimacy as democracy), legal, and sociological.
Principled legitimacy portrays democracy and democratic standards as the central piece of legitimacy, since democracy is the main principle that justifies authority in the context of globalisation. Due to practical limitations – such as the general lack of democratic institutions at global or even regional levels (Bernstein 2005: 145) – however, clear requirements and criteria for democratic legitimacy are generally lacking. Nevertheless, some elements from deliberative democracy, such as accountability, transparency, participation and deliberation, are generally used as guiding principles or criteria of principled legitimacy. Unlike principled legitimacy, legal legitimacy bypasses the normative prescriptions, and instead focuses on the empirical aspects - general support for regime and consent of the state – as central piece of legitimacy. In this view, legitimate is what is legal, i.e. what is written in the legislation of the state. Since the global environmental governance is evidently grounded in the normative foundations and transcend the traditional boundaries and role of the state, there are various challenges related to legal legitimacy of the field of international law (Bernstein 2005: 154-156).
These challenges are potentially evaded in the last conception of legitimacy – sociological legitimacy. Sociological legitimacy roots legitimacy in shared understanding and goals of the community, emphasising the influences of socially constructed norms and institutions.
As Bernstein (2005: 156), asserts “to be legitimate rules and institutions must be compatible or institutionally adoptable to existing institutional rules and norms already accepted by a society”. From this perspective, the legitimacy problems in global environmental governance arise not owing to a lack of democracy or the distance between state consent and new rules, but owing to the normative deficit and tensions within the normative environment in the global governance (Bernstein 2005: 157).
From the perspective of organisational sociology, Suchman (1995) focuses on legitimacy of private firms and organisations and the strategies that they employ to gain legitimacy to operate. As such, this approach might lack direct applicability in this research;
nevertheless, it presents a theoretically influential framework which has been used to describe legitimacy logics elsewhere (Cashore 2002). Suchman (1995:574) defines legitimacy as “a generalised perception or assumptions that the actions of an entity are desirable, proper, or appropriate within some socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs and definitions”. This general definition omits the above introduced divide between democratic and sociological legitimacy (see Bernstein 2005), as it includes both – normative (“proper and appropriate action of an entity”) and sociological (“socially constructed systems of norms...”) aspects of legitimacy. Suchman’s review of organisational legitimacy reveals three types of legitimacy; each resting on different behavioural dynamics: pragmatic, moral and cognitive legitimacy. Pragmatic legitimacy is associated to short-term self interests of granters and grantees of legitimacy; it “rests on self-interested calculations of an organization's most immediate audiences” (Suchman 1995:578). This form of legitimacy is mostly about – but not limited to – an expected favourable exchange of interests between grantees (e.g. an organisation or firm) and grantors of legitimacy (e.g. public, citizens, stakeholders, community). For instance, support for an organisational policy in return for expected (or promised) benefits that policy may bring to the grantors of legitimacy (Suchman 1995). Moral legitimacy, on the other hand, rests on normative evaluation of an organisation and moral motivations to grant authority; it involves judgments about whether certain organisation and actions it proposes is "the right thing to do", rather than judgments about whether it brings benefits to the evaluator or grantor of legitimacy (Suchman 1995:57). According to Suchman, moral legitimacy can concern evaluation of process, outcomes, structures and evaluation of individual political leaders. Finally, cognitive legitimacy is based on cognition, rather than
on self interest, or normative evaluation. The ‘cognition’ involves two criteria:
“comprehensibility” and “taken for granted” realties. Cognitive legitimacy is granted when an organisation and its activities fit with existing cognitive models and experienced realities of the audience granting the legitimacy.