CARP Research

Books

Character Assassination and Reputation Management: Theory and Applications 

This primer offers the first comprehensive examination of character assassination. In modern politics as well as in historical times, character attacks abound. Words and images, like psychological weapons, have sullied or destroyed numerous individual reputations. How does character assassination "work" and when or why does it not? Are character attacks getting worse in the age of social media? Why do many people fail when they are under character attack? How should they prevent attacks and defend against them?

CA Textbook

The Routledge Handbook of Character Assassination and Reputation Management

This handbook offers the first comprehensive examination of character assassination. Moving beyond studying corporate reputation management and how public figures enact and maintain their reputation, this lively volume offers a framework and cases to help understand, critically analyze, and effectively defend against such attacks. Written by an international and interdisciplinary team of experts, the book begins with a theoretical introduction and extensive description of the "five pillars" of character assassination: (1) the attacker, (2) the target, (3) the media, (4) the public, and (5) the context. The remaining chapters present engaging case studies suitable for class discussion. This handbook will prove invaluable to undergraduate and postgraduate students in communication, political science, history, sociology, and psychology departments. It will also help researchers become independent, critical, and informed thinkers capable of avoiding the pressure and manipulations of the media

Academic Webinars 

Interview with William L. Benoit: Character Attack in Political Campaigns

Interview with W. Timothy Coombs Character Assassination, Scandals, and Crisis Communication

Interview with Martijn Icks: Evil Queens and Wicked Empresses

Interview with Marlène Laruelle: The Rise of Populist and Illiberal Movements

Interview with the the founders of the Scandalogy Research Initiative, André Haller and Hendrik Michael: Scandals and Character Assassination in Global Media Systems

Interview with James Jasper: Villains or Minions? Dilemmas in Character Assassination

Interview with Ekaterina Egorova: Psychological Profiling of Leaders

Interview with Eric Shiraev: The Psychology of Character Assassination

Interview with Stephen Farnsworth: Presidential Character from Clinton and Cable to Trump and Twitter

Interview with Chris Gilbert: Political Humor, Caricature and Saturday Night Live

Special Issues

Special Issue on Character Assassination (2021). (In Dutch). Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 134(2). https://www.aup-online.com/content/journals/00407518/134/2 

Special Edition: Character Assassination and Applied Social Theory. (2021). Journal of Applied Social Theory, 1(3). https://socialtheoryapplied.com/journal/jast/index

Articles and Book Chapters

2024

Samoilenko, S. A., & Cook, J. (2024). Developing a critical response to ad hominem attacks against climate science. American Behavioral Scientist, 00027642241240352. https://doi.org/10.1177/00027642241240352

Samoilenko, S. A., & Cook, J. (2024). Developing an ad hominem typology for classifying climate misinformation. Climate Policy, 24(1), 138-151. https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2023.2245792 

Icks, M. (2024). The many deaths of Domitian: Scandal and image destruction in Imperial Rome. In Scandalogy 4: Political Scandals in the age of populism, partisanship, and polarization (pp. 125-137). Springer Nature Switzerland.

Keohane, J. (2024). Cancel culture rhetoric and moral conflict in contemporary democratic societies. American Behavioral Scientist, 00027642241240337.

Keohane, J. (2024). Holding out for a Hero: The Rhetorical battle over the national garden of American heroes in the United States. In Scandalogy 4: Political scandals in the age of populism, partisanship, and polarization (pp. 109-123). Springer Nature Switzerland.

2023

Samoilenko, S. A., & Jasper, J. M. (2023). The implications of character assassination and cancel culture for public relations theory. In C. Botan & E. J. Sommerfeldt (Eds). Public relations theory III (pp. 452-469). Routledge. 

Samoilenko, S. A., & Langley, Q. (2023). Character assassination and brandjacking in digital corporate communication. In V. Luoma-aho, & M. Badham (Eds.), Handbook of digital corporate communication (pp. 222-236). Edward Elgar.

Samoilenko, S. A., Eremina, A., & Gumensky, A. (2023). Cancel culture and novaya etika in Russian public discourse. In S. Davydov (Ed.), Internet in the post-Soviet area. Societies and political orders in transition (pp. 71-87). Springer. 

Icks, M., & Shiraev, E. (2021). Having the last laugh: Scandalous character assassination in comedy in Classical Athens and the current-day United States. Scandology 3: Scandals in new media (pp. 135-149). Springer Nature Switzerland.

2021

Keohane, J. (2021). On display eight hours a day: Gendering and racializing clerical work during the early Cold War. Peitho, 23(2). 

Hagen, E., & Icks, M. (2021). Inleiding. Karaktermoord is een tijdloos wapen [Introduction. Character assassination, a timeless weapon]. Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 134(2), 187 – 200.

Shiraev, E. (2021). Fake news for the American Revolution: An attempt at character assassination of George Washington. Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 134(2), 254 – 267.

Samoilenko, S. A. (2021). The cocreational view of character assassination. In C. H. Botan (Ed.), The handbook of strategic communication (pp. 76-90). Wiley.

Samoilenko, S. A. (2021). The applied social theory of character assassination. Journal of Applied Social Theory, 1(3), 1-6.

Samoilenko, S. A. (2021). Character assassination: The sociocultural perspective. Journal of Applied Social Theory, 1(3), 186-205.

2020

Keohane, J. (2020). The rhetorical and ethical implications of character assassination in the age of McCarthy. In In S.A. Samoilenko, M. Icks, E. Shiraev, E., & J. Keohane. J. (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of character assassination and reputation management (pp. 269-281). Routledge.

Icks, M., Shiraev, E., Keohane, J., & Samoilenko, S.A., (2020). Character assassination: Theoretical framework. In S.A. Samoilenko, M. Icks, E. Shiraev, E., & J. Keohane. J. (Eds.), Routledge handbook of character assassination and reputation management (pp. 11-24). Routledge.

Icks, M. (2020, June/July). Poisoned ink: Character assassination of Roman emperors. Ancient History Magazine, 28, 18-23.

Icks, M., & Shiraev, E. (2020). Character assassination and scandalogy: How and why character attacks cause scandals. In Scandalogy 2: Cultures of scandals – scandals in culture (pp.104-123). Halem.

Icks, M. (2020). Agrippina, Theodora and Fredegund as evil empresses in the historiographic tradition. In S.A. Samoilenko, M. Icks, J. Keohane & E.B. Shiraev (Eds.), Routledge handbook of character assassination and reputation management (pp. 183-195). Routledge.

Samoilenko, S.A. (2020). Character assassination in the context of mediated complexity. In K. Sriramesh & D. Verčič (Eds.), The global public relations handbook: Theory, research, and practice (3rd Ed.). Routledge.

Samoilenko, S.A., & Karnysheva, M. (2020). Character assassination as modus operandi of Soviet propaganda. In P. Baines, N. O’Shaughnessy, & N. Snow (Eds.), The Sage handbook of propaganda. Sage.

Samoilenko, S. A., & Laruelle, M. (2020). Character assassination as strategic communication in EU-Russia relations. In E. Pashentsev (Ed.), Strategic communication in EU-Russia relations: Tensions, challenges, and opportunities (pp. 135-160). Palgrave Macmillan.

Samoilenko, S. A. (2020). Character assassination as a structurational phenomenon. In S.A. Samoilenko, M. Icks, E. Shiraev, E., & J. Keohane. J. (Eds.), Routledge handbook of character assassination and reputation management (pp. 45-62). New York, NY: Routledge.

Shiraev, E., & Makhovskaya, O. (2020). The traumatic psychological impact of character attacks on targets. In S. Samoilenko, M. Icks, J. Keohane, & E. Shiraev (Eds.). Routledge handbook of character assassination and reputation management (pp. 36-44). Routledge.

Shiraev, E. (2020). Cross-cultural comparisons of character assassination. In S. Samoilenko, M. Icks, J.Keohane, & E. Shiraev (Eds.). Routledge handbook of character assassination and reputation management (pp. 63-72). Routledge.

2019

Icks, M., & Shiraev, E. (2019). Character assassination in Ancient Rome: Defamation in Cicero’s First Catilinarian Oration from a historical-psychological perspective. The Journal of Psychohistory, 46(4), 270-289.

2018

Samoilenko, S. A., Icks, M., Shiraev, E., & Keohane, J. (2018). Character assassination. In A. V. Ledeneva and International Board (Eds.), The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality (Vol. 2, pp. 441-445). UCL University Press.

2017

Icks, M. (2017). Adorned by fancy and blackened by prejudice: The “vices and follies” of Elagabalus in modern historical research. In L. de Arrizabalaga y Prado (Ed.), Varian Studies, Volume 3: A Varian Symposium (pp. 185-204). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 

Icks, M. (2017). Turning victory into defeat: Negative assessments of imperial triumphs in Greco-Roman literature. In F. Goldbeck & J. Wienand (Eds.), Der römische Triumph in Prinzipat und Spätantike (pp. 317-333). De Gruyter.

Samoilenko, S. A., Erzikova, E., Davydov, S., & Laskin, A. (2017). Different media, same messages: Character assassination in the television news during the 2014 Ukrainian crisis. International Communication Research Journal, 52(2), 31–55.

2016

Samoilenko, S. A. (2016). Ad hominem argument. In C. Carroll (Ed.), The Sage encyclopedia of corporate reputation (Vol. 1 pp. 16-19). Sage.

Samoilenko, S. A. (2016). Character assassination. In C. Carroll (Ed.), The Sage encyclopedia of corporate reputation (Vol. 1, pp. 115-118). Sage.