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Reconciling Perspectives on Blame Avoidance Behavior

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Hinterleitner Markus,
Project Assessing Blame Avoidance Behavior
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Political Studies Review
Page(s) 1 - 12
Title of proceedings Political Studies Review
DOI 10.1111/1478-9302.12099

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Blame avoidance behaviour (BAB) has become an increasingly popular topic in political science. However, the preconditions of BAB, its presence and consequences in various areas and in different political systems largely remain a black box. In order to generate a better understanding of BAB and its importance for the workings of democratic political systems, the scattered literature on BAB needs to be assessed and structured. This article offers a comprehensive review of the literature on blame avoidance. It departs from Weaver’s concept of blame avoidance and subsequently differentiates between work on BAB in comparative welfare state research and work on BAB in public policy and administration. It is argued that between these two strands of literature a bifurcation exists since both perspectives rarely draw on each other to create a more general understanding of BAB. Advantages from existing approaches must be combined to assess the phenomenon of blame avoidance in a more comprehensive way.