(CA) is a deliberate pattern of behaviour aimed at damaging the reputation – social image of a person’s character or competency.
Reasonably well documented, particularly in the areas of political science and history. Limited robust scientific research though.
CA is important to examine as it is a form of bullying and psychologically distressing for the target. It is also costly to third party agencies, and simply put it is wrong.
Drivers to CA can be distilled under four broad dimensions:
- Power-greed: undermined someone in order to obtain a position or asset they hold.
- Revenge: payback for a past wrong.
- Ideology: undermine the person for the idea or group they represent.
- Self protection: discredit someone that could expose wrongs.
Indications of CA:
- The agent has existing conflict with the target
- The is no clear finding of any statutorily defined wrongdoing.
- Third party agencies and services have become involved that had no prior contact with the target.
- The cost of the investigations is more prolonged than typical and costs are excessive compared to any finding made against the target.