Edit: This article is now an R&R with Politics.
About a month ago, I finished a draft on an article that I presented back at the SSS in New Orleans in March. At that time, I had done the initial analysis of the data and came to realize that the military had effectively buffered itself from near-constant criticism of rampant sexual assault for decades. I was therefore interested in figuring out why suddenly in the past five years all sorts of policy changes have finally been implemented. Subsequently, in reassessing the argument with my colleague Jensen Sass, we figured out a new perspective on scandal: in effect, we have developed broad expectations that we can effectively govern through scandal. This is a sort of market logic to media outcomes: scandals that should win out do win out, eventually, and organizational change follows. That at least is one aspect we explore in the current paper, but it raises more questions than it answers. What scandals do allow for effective governance? What sorts of scandals are least likely to lead to real policy change? (These may become the basis for a third article in our little co-authored series on scandal.)