Introducing Valerie Braithwaite  Recent Books  Publications

Valerie Braithwaite is an interdisciplinary scholar and professor of regulatory studies in the Regulatory Institutions Network, ANU. With a disciplinary background in psychology, her work focuses on the interplay between regulators and regulatees, the governing and the governed, asking the questions: What kind of institutional practices generate defiance and disrespect? What role does social capital play in regulatory effectiveness and regulatory failure? In collaboration with colleagues and doctoral students, the ways in which individuals and groups engage with regulations imposed by government and other authorities are addressed in fields as diverse as caregiving, health, taxation, school and workplace bullying, work safety, migration, agriculture, child protection, charities and education. 

She is the author of Defiance in Taxation and Governance: Resisting and Dismissing Authority in a Democracy (2009) in which she argues that regulation by regulatory agencies first and foremost is about the successful management of relationships, and that regulatory effectiveness depends on an exchange of signals (motivational postures) around commitment, grievance, opportunity, defiance, domination, competition and cooperation. 

Other monographs and special editions include Bound to Care, Taxing Democracy, Hope, Power and Governance and Responsive Regulation and Taxation. She has co-authored Trust and Governance, Shame Management through Reintegration, Regulating Aged Care, Anomie and Violence, and Pillars and Shadows.  In 2009 she became a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Valerie has served as an advisor on regulatory policy in areas of education, work safety, charitable organizations, immigration, taxation, aged care, and affirmative action. She served on the Australian Government’s ATO Cash Economy Task Force (1995-2005) and the National Skills Standards Council (2011-14). In 2013 with Kwong Lee Dow, she conducted a review of regulation in higher education for the Australian Government. 

Defiance In Taxation And Governance: Resisting and Dismissing Authority in a Democracy


This innovative book presents a theory of tax defiance, integrating five years of research on people's hopes, fears and expectations of the tax system and the authority that administers it.
Valerie Braithwaite makes a major contribution to regulatory theory by mapping the psychological processes of defiance. At the heart of the analysis is the concept of motivational posturing - signals sent to indicate how favourably an authority is viewed and readiness to defer to an authority's demands. The author explains how resistant defiance expresses disapproval of the way an authority operates and signals to government the need to improve performance to win back public confidence. Resistance weakens as the authority claws back its institutional integrity.Dismissive defiance, on the other hand, is challenging and undermining, and is not so responsive. The book argues for institutional reforms that are both mindful of grievance and of alternative authorities that challenge power. It illustrates that in delivering institutional reform, commitment to democratic principles and integrity of government will enable authorities to argue their case for community co-operation where appropriate. (Download chapter 1)



Regulating Aged Care: Ritualism and the New Pyramid


This book is a major new contribution to regulatory theory from three members of the world-class regulatory research group based in Australia. It marks a new development in responsive regulatory theory in which a strengths-based pyramid complements the regulatory pyramid.The authors compare the accomplishments of nursing home regulation in the US, the
UK and Australia during the last 20 years and in a longer historical perspective. They find that gaming and ritualism, rather than defiance of regulators, are the greatest challenge for improving safety and quality of life for the elderly in care homes. Regulating Aged Care shows how good regulation and caring professionalism can transcend ritualism. Better regulation is found to be as much about encouragement to expand strengths as incentives to fix problems. The book is underpinned by one of the most ambitious, sustained qualitative and quantitative data collections in both the regulatory literature and the aged care literature. This study provides an impressive evidence base for both theorydevelopment and reassessment of policy and practitioner responses in the field. The book will find its readership amongst regulatory scholars in political science, law, socio-legal studies, sociology, economics and public policy. Gerontology and health care scholars and professionals will also find much to reflect upon in the book.




Other Major Publications



Braithwaite, J., Braithwaite, V., Cookson, M., & Dunn, L. (2010). Anomie and Violence: Non-truth and Reconciliation in Indonesian Peacebuilding.
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Pillars and Shadows: Statebuilding as peacebuilding in Solomon Islands
John Braithwaite et al.
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Taxing Democracy

Edited by Valerie Braithwaite
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2003




Braithwaite, V. (2004). Hope, Power and Governance. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 592.

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Ahmed, E., Harris, N., Braithwaite, J. & Braithwaite, V. (2001). Shame management through reintegration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (375 pages).