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30 - Shaming and Compliance

from Part IV - Legitimacy and Social Norms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 May 2021

Benjamin van Rooij
School of Law, University of Amsterdam
D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
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Abstract: Naming and shaming offenders is often considered an effective strategy to improve compliance. Shaming exposes an offender to condemnation by a community of stakeholders. The threat of negative publicity, reputational damage and social disapproval is perceived as a sanction, and can in theory be more powerful than a formal legal sanction. This chapter asks to what extent naming and shaming can improve compliance. It takes stock of extant empirical evidence on the effect of shaming policies on regulatory compliance and identifies conditions for shaming to affect compliance. The complex relationship between ‘naming and shaming’ and compliance makes it difficult to predict and control the various effects of shaming sanctions. The chapter concludes that the unpredictability of effects makes ‘naming and shaming’ a risky tool for regulators. A theory about naming and shaming should differentiate among types of offender, shaming agent and social context.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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