My work explores the problem of responsibility assignment in long and complex causal chains. I investigate the blame games emerging in the aftermath of major disruptions.
Currently, I am working on a book project, called The Blame Game, which focuses on attribution of responsibility for the recent financial crisis in the United States (2007 – 2010). I am not interested in knowing who was responsible, but how responsibility for the crisis was constructed through a blame game. Why did most of the blame focus on Wall Street? Why did President Bush – among others - receive so little blame?
I examine media excerpts drawn from three main newspapers (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today) to analyze the games of accusations and counter-accusations for the crisis. I show how when the financial system exploded, blame moved in many directions, but mostly focused on the political sphere. Through public speeches, congressional hearings, and public investigations, the political sphere managed to refocus the attention on Wall Street.