City Research Online

Theorizing Institutional Scandal and the Regulatory State

Greer, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-8623-702X & McLaughlin, E. (2017). Theorizing Institutional Scandal and the Regulatory State. Theoretical Criminology, 21(2), pp. 112-132. doi: 10.1177/1362480616645648


One by one, UK public institutions are being scandalised for corruption, immorality or incompetence and subjected to trial by media and criminal prosecution. The state’s historic response to public sector scandal – denial and neutralisation – has been replaced with acknowledgement and regulation in the form of the re-vamped public inquiry. Public institutions are being cut adrift and left to account in isolation for their scandalous failures. Yet the state’s attempts to distance itself from its scandalised institutions, while extending its regulatory control over them, are risky. Both the regulatory state and its public inquiries risk being consumed by the scandal they are trying to manage.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2016
Publisher Keywords: scandal; intermediatisation; public inquiry; risk, regulatory state; trial by media
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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