Valerie Braithwaite is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a disciplinary background in psychology. She has taught in social and clinical psychology programs at undergraduate and graduate level, and has held research appointments in gerontology in the NH&MRC Social Psychiatry Research Unit and in the Administration, Compliance and Governability Project in the Research School of Social Sciences at ANU. In 1988-89, she was Associate Director in the Research School of Social Sciences, from 1989-2005 Director of the Centre for Tax System Integrity, and from 2006-2008 Head of the Regulatory Institutions Network in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
Currently, Valerie Braithwaite holds a professorial appointment in the Regulatory Institutions Network where she studies psychological processes in regulation and governance. The main themes are:
(a) identifying institutional practices that generate defiance, undermining the individual’s capacity and willingness to cooperate in core facets of social life from family and school to work and governance. Of primary interest are practices that fail to respect social values, challenge the stress and coping capabilities of individuals, induce poor shame management skills, and frustrate basic needs;
(b) demonstrating how social relationships facilitate the engagement of individuals in institutional life. This work focuses on building trust, recognising shared social values, generating hope and institutionalising dialogue and generosity.
She regularly runs workshops and provides briefings on the adoption of responsive regulatory models by government agencies.