Professor Jonathan Jackson

Professor Jonathan Jackson

Professor of Research Methodology

Department of Methodology

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Key Expertise
Criminology; Survey methods; Psychology and Law

About me

"I am currently using virtual reality technology to study the impact of police drones in the context of policing and public health, testing a psychological theory about the subjective experience of fairness and legitimation."
- Professor Jonathan Jackson discusses the innovative technology involved in his research as part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations. Read the full close-up with Methodology faculty.


Jonathan Jackson is Professor of Research Methodology. He is an Honorary Professor of Criminology at the University of Sydney Law School and an Affiliated Scholar in the Justice Collaboratory of Yale Law School.

He has held visiting appointments in criminology at Oxford, Sydney, Griffith and Cambridge, in psychology at New York University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in law at Yale, and in public policy at Harvard (Kennedy School).

Jon is an editor of the British Journal of Criminology and an academic editor of PLOSone.

Working at the intersection of psychology and law, his research focuses on procedural justice (the importance of fair process in interactions between power-holders and subordinates), distributive justice (the allocation of finite resources that determine who gets the benefits and burdens of social control)and legitimacy (perceptions of the right to power) in the context of the criminal justice system. He is interested in clarifying the meaning and measurement of these concepts; understanding the causal mechanisms that transmit the effects of procedural justice, distributive justice and legitimacy on various behavioural and attitudinal outcomes; testing how well procedural justice theory travels across diverse social, political and legal contexts using methodologically equivalent research designs; bringing perceptions of structural racism into procedural justice theory; and examining the importance of ‘bounded authority’, i.e. respecting the limits of one’s rightful authority.

He has led several high-profile projects into public trust and institutional legitimacy in the field of criminal justice, most of which have been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the European Commission’s FP7 programme. For instance, he led the design of a 45-question module in Round 5 of the European Social Survey that tested procedural justice theory in 28 countries.

He has co-authored or co-edited three books: 'Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics' (with Jonathan Jacobs), 'Just Authority? Trust in the Police in England and Wales' (with Ben Bradford, Betsy Stanko and Katrin Hohl), and 'Social Order and the Fear of Crime in Contemporary Times' (with Steve Farrall and Emily Gray).

For information about his research, see Jon's Google Scholar profile and CV.

Expertise Details

Criminology; Survey methods; Psychology and law