Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Democracy and Scandal: A Research Agenda

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

AbstractIn a recent edition of this journal, Scott Brenton (2012) announced a refreshing perspective on the relationship between political scandal and liberal democratic institutions: though scandals are often thought anathema to democratic politics, a cause of public distraction or a sign of institutional degradation, their effect may actually be to reinforce and rejuvenate the polity. We consolidate and then challenge this perspective. We begin by reconstructing Brenton’s observations on scandal as a process model which we term the “scandal reform cycle”. We then suggest a raft of challenges to the model to reveal the complexity of scandals and their uncertain institutional effects. Our larger ambition is to articulate the relationship between scandal and democracy not as a simple question but rather as an ambitious and timely research agenda.

Affiliations: 1:; 2:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adut Ari On Scandal 2008 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
2. Alexander Jeffrey C. The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology 2003 New York Oxford University Press
3. Alexander Jeffrey C. The Civil Sphere 2006 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
4. Baum Matthew A. "“Soft News and Foreign Policy: How Expanding the Audience Changes the Policies.”" Japanese Journal of Political Sciences 2007 Vol 8 1 115 145
5. Brenton Scott "“Scandals as a Positive Feature of Liberal Democratic Politics: A Durkheimian Perspective.”" Comparative Sociology 2012 Vol 11 815 844
6. Carruthers Susan L. "“No One’s Looking: The Disappearing Audience for War.”" Media, War & Violence 2008 Vol 1 1 71 77
7. Cohen Adam , Stetler Brian "“Airstrike Video Brings Attention to WikiLeaks Site.”" New York Times 2010 April 6 p. A8
8. Coser Lewis A. A Handful of Thistles 1988 New Brunswick, NJ Transaction
9. Fine Gary Alan "“Scandal, Social Conditions and the Creation of Public Attention: Fatty Arbuckle and the ‘Problem of Hollywood’.”" Social Problems 1997 Vol 44 3 297 323
10. Giddens Anthony "“Durkheim’s Political Sociology”" The Sociological Review 1971 Vol 19 477 519
11. Girard Rene "“Scandal and the Dance: Salome in the Gospel of Mark.”" New Literary Review 1984 Vol 15 2 311 324
12. Greenwald Glenn "“The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention.”" Salon 2010 December 15. Retrieved June 10, 2013 ( )
13. Hendrickson Ryan C. "“Clinton’s Military Strikes in 1998: Diversionary Uses of Force?”" Armed Forces & Society 2002 Vol 28 2 309 332
14. Kay Jonathan "“Black Helicopters over Nashville.”" Newsweek 2010 February 8. Retrieved June 10, 2013 ( )
15. McManus Gerrald "“Howard Suffers Poll Backlash.”" Herald Sun 2007 July 2. Retrieved June 10, 2013 ( )
16. Molotch Harvey , Lester Marilyn "“News as Purposive Behavior: On the Strategic Use of Routine Events, Accidents and Scandals.”" American Sociological Review 1974 Vol 39 1 101 112
17. Perlroth Nichole "“Hackers in China Attacked the Times for Last 4 Months.”" New York Times 2013 January 30. Retrieved June 10, 2013 ( )
18. Pilkington Ed. "“Bradley Manning: 1000 Days in Detention and Secrecy Still Reigns.”" The Guardian 2013 February 22. Retrieved June 10, 2013 ( )
19. Ring Graham "“Indigenous Australia Needs More Than Faux Feelings.”" Canberra Times 2007 June 25. Retrieved June 10, 2013 ( )
20. Schudson Michael "“Notes on Scandal and the Watergate Legacy.”" American Behavioral Scientist 2004 Vol 47 1231 1238
21. Schudson Michael Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press 2005 Malden, MA Polity Press
22. Skocpol Theda , Williamson Vanessa The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism 2012 Oxford Oxford University Press
23. Thompson John B. Political Scandal: Power and Visibility in the Media Age 2000 Malden, MA Polity Press
24. Vogel David The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility 2005 Washington D.C. Brookings
25. Walker Peter "“Amnesty International Hails WikiLeaks and Guardian as Arab Spring ‘Catalysts’.”" The Guardian 2011 May 12. Retrieved June 10, 2013 ( )
26. Wild Rex , Anderson Patricia Little Children are Sacred 2007 Darwin Northern Territory Government

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Comparative Sociology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation