Publication Details

Martin, B. (2012). Corruption tactics: outrage management in a local government scandal. Resistance Studies Magazine, (February), 1-40.

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Resistance Studies Magazine

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RSMAG.ORG is 'A peer-reviewed, open-access magazine for the studies of resistance and social change'


A mobilised citizenry is a threat to corrupt operations. Therefore, those involved in behaviours potentially labelled as corrupt have an interest in minimising public outrage. Five ways of doing this are to hide the activity, denigrate opponents, reinterpret actions as legitimate, use official channels to give an appearance of justice, and intimidate or bribe people involved. A local government scandal in Wollongong, Australia, illustrates all these tactics, with public hearings and media coverage providing volumes of revealing information. The implication of this analysis is that anti-corruption efforts should emphasise ways of increasing public outrage.