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Reputation management in societal security – a comparative study

Christensen, Tom and Lodge, Martin ORCID: 0000-0002-4273-6118 (2018) Reputation management in societal security – a comparative study. American Review of Public Administration. ISSN 0275-0740

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0275074016670030


Societal security poses fundamental challenges for the doctrines of accountability and transparency in government. At least some of the national security state’s effectiveness requires a degree of non-transparency, raising questions about legitimacy. This paper explores in cross-national and cross-sectoral perspective, how organisations seek to manage their reputation by accounting for their activities.. This article contributes in three main ways. First, it highlights how distinct tasks facilitate and constrain certain reputation management strategies. Second, it suggests that these reputational considerations shape the way in which organisations can give account. Third, it considers three domains associated with societal security, namely intelligence, flood defence and food safety in five European countries with different state traditions - the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. By using a “web census”, this article investigates cross-sectoral and cross-national variation in the way organisations seek to account for their activities and manage their reputation. This article finds variation across tasks to be more dominant than national variation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2016 09:00
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:37

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