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Blame avoidance in comparative perspective: reactivity, staged retreat and efficacy

Blame avoidance in comparative perspective: reactivity, staged retreat and efficacy
Blame avoidance in comparative perspective: reactivity, staged retreat and efficacy
Building on blame-avoidance analysis, this paper develops a method to assess the reactivity, sequencing and efficacy of defensive responses by officeholders facing a crisis of personal blame, analysing cases drawn from four advanced democracies. It tests the hypotheses that officeholders: react by positive action rather than non-engagement when blame levels are high; respond in a ‘staged retreat’ sequence; and can reduce the level of blame they face from one day to another through choice of presentational strategies. The paper applies event history analysis to test the sequencing hypothesis and time series cross-sectional models to test the reactivity and efficacy hypotheses. The analysis shows that officeholders tend to respond actively when blame levels are high, that to some extent their responses tend to follow a staged retreat pattern, and their interventions have a systematic effect on the next day’s media blame level only if they take the form of personal statements
0033-3298
542-562
Hood, Christopher
37c09ae1-5715-4188-94b6-3328e374370c
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Copeland, Paul
3f5430b5-0fb4-4e36-a3a4-8e95283a53f4
Hood, Christopher
37c09ae1-5715-4188-94b6-3328e374370c
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Copeland, Paul
3f5430b5-0fb4-4e36-a3a4-8e95283a53f4

Hood, Christopher, Jennings, Will and Copeland, Paul (2015) Blame avoidance in comparative perspective: reactivity, staged retreat and efficacy. Public Administration, 94 (2), 542-562. (doi:10.1111/padm.12235).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Building on blame-avoidance analysis, this paper develops a method to assess the reactivity, sequencing and efficacy of defensive responses by officeholders facing a crisis of personal blame, analysing cases drawn from four advanced democracies. It tests the hypotheses that officeholders: react by positive action rather than non-engagement when blame levels are high; respond in a ‘staged retreat’ sequence; and can reduce the level of blame they face from one day to another through choice of presentational strategies. The paper applies event history analysis to test the sequencing hypothesis and time series cross-sectional models to test the reactivity and efficacy hypotheses. The analysis shows that officeholders tend to respond actively when blame levels are high, that to some extent their responses tend to follow a staged retreat pattern, and their interventions have a systematic effect on the next day’s media blame level only if they take the form of personal statements

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 October 2015
Published date: 28 December 2015
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383322
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383322
ISSN: 0033-3298
PURE UUID: 1511983e-6d00-4f19-a50e-8ad038d3d3d1
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Nov 2015 11:29
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:39

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Contributors

Author: Christopher Hood
Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD
Author: Paul Copeland

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