Defiance in Taxation and Governance


Defiance in Taxation and Governance

Resisting and Dismissing Authority in a Democracy

9781847200037 Edward Elgar Publishing
Valerie Braithwaite, The Australian National University
Publication Date: August 2009 ISBN: 978 1 84720 003 7 Extent: 384 pp
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.

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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. Finally, the book goes on to show that power sharing is likely to be a more apt remedy when dismissive defiance is entrenched. Safeguarding these deliberations in mature democracies are moral obligation and social capital, both of which are likely to erode when authorities show neither justice nor wisdom in handling defiance.

This unique and innovative example of how psychology can be integrated into new institutional theory and public policy practice will prove an interesting read for scholars, students and researchers in the fields of regulatory studies, economics, public policy and public finance, politics and psychology.
Critical Acclaim
‘[Valerie] Braithwaite merges her considerable knowledge of a wide range of disciplines to produce an exemplar of interdisciplinary research. The use of the taxation system as the basis for analysis of how people manage their relationship with authority is effective and produces a much-needed addition to the behavioural literature. While the book is primarily about defiance in taxation, many instances of non-taxation related defiance are included, which provides excellent support and extension of the tax-based arguments. Braithwaite has produced an excellent example of a book that is grounded in the extant literature, while expanding our understanding of the importance of understanding the behaviours that drive defiance. The aim of the book is to “show how authorities can live symbiotically with defiance” and she achieves this superbly, illustrating how improved satisfaction with “the process” can minimise defiance.’
– Lisa Marriott, Pacific Accounting Review
Contents: Preface 1. Defiance to Resist or Dismiss Institutional Constraint 2. Defiance and Responsive Regulatory Relationships 3. The Expression and Management of Motivational Postures 4. Measuring Motivational Postures and Defiance 5. Approaching Defiance through Threat and Coping 6. Approaching Defiance through Integrity and Trust 7. Approaching Defiance through Social Modelling 8. Integrative Models of Defiance 9. Reasoning with Defiance References Index
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