Cross-Theoretical Compliance: An Integrative Compliance Analysis of COVID-19 Mitigation Responses in Israel

Anne Leonore de Bruijn, Yuval Feldman, Christopher P. Reinders Folmer, Malouke E. Kuiper, Megan Brownlee, Emmeke Kooistra, Elke Olthuis, Adam Fine, Benjamin van Rooij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To understand the question why people obey or break rules, different approaches have focused on different theories and subsets of variables. The present research develops a cross-theoretical approach that integrates these perspectives. We apply this in a survey of compliance with COVID-19 pandemic mitigation rules in Israel. The data reveal that compliance in this setting was shaped by a combination of variables originating from legitimacy, capacity, and opportunity theories (but not rational choice or social theories). This demonstrates the importance of moving beyond narrow theoretical perspectives of compliance, to a cross-theoretical understanding—in which different theoretical approaches are systematically integrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-670
Number of pages36
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The contributions to this project of the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and final author were funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement n° 817680).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • COVID-19
  • Israel
  • capacity to comply
  • compliance
  • compliance theory
  • deterrence
  • impulsivity
  • legitimacy
  • lockdown
  • mitigation measures
  • negative emotions
  • obligation to obey the law
  • opportunity to violate
  • procedural justice
  • public health
  • punishment
  • rational choice theory
  • social distancing
  • social norms
  • stay-at-home measures
  • strain theory
  • trust in science


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