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Professor Valerie Braithwaite


Regulatory Institutions Network, School of Regulation and Global Governance

Faculty: Expert contributors


Areas of expertise

  • Regulation
Image of ANZSOG NRCoP conference speaker Valerie Braithwaite

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BA Hons (Class I) (University of Queensland), PhD (University of Queensland)



Valerie Braithwaite is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University (ANU). Valerie researches human services regulation – the regulation of aged care, work health and safety, social welfare, child protection and education, as well as the regulation of the system that pays for these services – taxation. Her work has focused on how regulators and regulatees engage with each other, how compliance is achieved, and when defiance emerges. Her books and publications can be found at http://valeriebraithwaite.com.

Valerie has served as an advisor on regulatory policy in Australia and overseas. She has conducted two reviews of tertiary education for the government, one with Kwong Lee Dow on higher education, the other being a review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVETR Act) – “All Eyes on Quality Report” in 2018. Valerie is currently serving on the Expert Advisory Panel for designing the regulatory framework for the new Aged Care Act and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Researcher’s projects

Trust and Hope in the Democracy Project

This project examines the role of trust and hope in governance. The central hypothesis is that trust and hope build social capacity and enable cooperation. At the heart of the project is motivational posturing theory. Motivational posturing theory explains responses to government authority of disengagement, game playing, resistance, capitulation and commitment as ways of dealing with the sacrifice of individual freedom. Between 1999 and 2005, these issues were addressed within the context of taxation: What makes people accept the obligation to pay tax even when it is possible to evade or avoid payment? (http://ctsi.anu.edu.au)

School and Workplace Bullying Prevention Projects

These projects have been undertaken in collaboration with Eliza Ahmed, Brenda Morrison, Helene Shin and Jacqueline Homel. Central to this work has been the idea of shame management. Bullying is shown to be associated with an inability to manage shame well because of personal circumstance or a threatening environment. Shame occurs when people do not live up to expectations of themselves or others in terms of competence or moral behaviour.

Capacity Building in Child Protection Project

This project is supported by an ARC Linkage grant with Nathan Harris, Dorothy Scott, Morag McArthur and the ACT Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. The overall objective is to demonstrate how safety for children can be improved and care capacity in the child’s local community can be more effectively harnessed through a responsive regulatory approach.

Tax System Integrity Project

Taxation has been cocooned for too long as an inevitable and resented instrumentality of government. Australians are acutely aware of what tax dollars deliver. They also are very clear about how government should spend taxpayers’ money and are not unwilling or unable to reflect on community interests. When confidence is lost in the system, however, taxpayers bow out of being a collective player and disengage. Resources permitting, disillusionment may turn into game playing in an attempt to beat the system at its own game. A thriving financial planning industry is able to push game playing along, giving tax defiance a safer avenue for expression. These are among the main findings of the Centre for Tax System Integrity (CTSI), funded from 1999-2005 by an ANU-ATO research partnership. http://ctsi.anu.edu.au