Valerie Braithwaite

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:

  • 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;
  • 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.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0708-1416

Pillars and Shadows »

Statebuilding as peacebuilding in Solomon Islands

This volume of the Peacebuilding Compared Project examines the sources of the armed conflict and coup in the Solomon Islands before and after the turn of the millennium. The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been an intensive peacekeeping operation, concentrating on building ‘core pillars’ of the modern state. It did not take adequate notice of a variety of shadow sources of power in the Solomon Islands, for example logging and business interests, that continue to undermine the state’s democratic foundations. At first RAMSI’s statebuilding was neither very responsive to local voices nor to root causes of the conflict, but it slowly changed tack to a more responsive form of peacebuilding. The craft of peace as learned in the Solomon Islands is about enabling spaces for dialogue that define where the mission should pull back to allow local actors to expand the horizons of their peacebuilding ambition.

Anomie and Violence »

Non-truth and Reconciliation in Indonesian Peacebuilding

Authored by: John Braithwaite, Valerie Braithwaite, Michael Cookson, Leah Dunn
Indonesia suffered an explosion of religious violence, ethnic violence, separatist violence, terrorism, and violence by criminal gangs, the security forces and militias in the late 1990s and early 2000s. By 2002 Indonesia had the worst terrorism problem of any nation. All these forms of violence have now fallen dramatically. How was this accomplished? What drove the rise and the fall of violence? Anomie theory is deployed to explain these developments. Sudden institutional change at the time of the Asian financial crisis and the fall of President Suharto meant the rules of the game were up for grabs. Valerie Braithwaite’s motivational postures theory is used to explain the gaming of the rules and the disengagement from authority that occurred in that era. Ultimately resistance to Suharto laid a foundation for commitment to a revised, more democratic, institutional order. The peacebuilding that occurred was not based on the high-integrity truth-seeking and reconciliation that was the normative preference of these authors. Rather it was based on non-truth, sometimes lies, and yet substantial reconciliation. This poses a challenge to restorative justice theories of peacebuilding.