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This innovative book presents a theory of tax defiance, integrating five years of research on people’s hopes, fears and expectations of the tax system and the authority that administers it.Valerie Braithwaite makes a major contribution to regulatory theory by mapping the psychological processes of defiance. At the heart of the analysis is the concept of motivational posturing – signals sent to indicate how favourably an authority is viewed and readiness to defer to an authority's demands. The author explains how resistant defiance expresses disapproval of the way an authority operates and signals to government the need to improve performance to win back public confidence. Resistance weakens as the authority claws back its institutional integrity. Dismissive defiance, on the other hand, is challenging and undermining, and is not so responsive. The book argues for institutional reforms that are both mindful of grievance and of alternative authorities that challenge power. It illustrates that in delivering institutional reform, commitment to democratic principles and integrity of government will enable authorities to argue their case for community co-operation where appropriate. Finally, the book goes on to show that power sharing is likely to be a more apt remedy when dismissive defiance is entrenched. Safeguarding these deliberations in mature democracies are moral obligation and social capital, both of which are likely to erode when authorities show neither justice nor wisdom in handling defiance.
Braithwaite, Valerie, 2009, Defiance in taxation and governance: Resisting and dismissing authority in a democracy, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK