[e] Political Economy 101

Blame & Avoidance (Week 4)


This post is part of an online course about political and economic behaviour in a world characterised by contradictions and a deluge of #mixedsignals. This is how it works:

  • Watch/listen to the music videos in the post,
  • Pick ONE of the reading recommendations,
  • Reflect on the links between the post’s topic, the videos, and your chosen reading.

Many situations in life and politics involve the need to accept or avoid blame. However, some politicians master the art of avoiding blame to such a degree that it often seems as if the very promises they made were vacuous and meant to be broken. Are politicians bound to break their promises and not take responsibility for them?


Blame, Calvin Harris (ft. John Newman).

You Could Be President, Theo Katzman.

Gimme Some Truth, John Lennon.

Politician Man, Adrian Sutherland.

Recommended Readings

  • Imbeau, L. M. (2009). Do They Walk Like They Talk? Speech and Action in Policy Processes. Springer. Link.
  • Hood, C. & Rothstein, H. (2001). Risk Regulation Under Pressure: Problem Solving or Blame Shifting? Administration & Society, 33(1), 21–53. Link.
  • Hood, C. (2010). Blame Game: Spin, Bureaucracy, and Self-Preservation in Government. , New Jersey. Princeton University Press. Link.
  • Busuioc, M., & Lodge, M. (2017). Reputation and accountability relationships: Managing accountability expectations through reputation. Public Administration Review, 77(1), 91-100. Link.

Cover photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash.

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