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Military scandals are disruptive episodes that can have long-lasting organizational consequences for military institutions. Recently, scholars who study military institutions have sought to understand this phenomenon and its significance. However, given their complexity and empirically opaque nature, military scandals are difficult to study, and a general account of this phenomenon has remained elusive. This article addresses this problem by drawing upon the growing field of scandal research to present a definition and account of the military scandal. We argue that military scandals are episodes of mediatized public moral conflict concerning transgressions involving the military institution, its members, and/or associated actors. We employ Ari Adut’s theory of public attention as a core explanation of scandal dynamics and effects and use this to argue that the military scandal phenomenon can be employed to simultaneously examine interactions and relationships between the military, the state, news media organizations, and civil society.
- civil–military relations
- military scandals
- scandal studies
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Ben Wadham (Speaker)16 Dec 2020
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk