Changing Behaviours: On the Rise of the Psychological State

Research output: Book/ReportBook

199 Citations (SciVal)


By tracing the influence of the behavioural sciences on Whitehall policy makers, the authors explore a new psychological orthodoxy in the practices of governing. Drawing on original empirical material, chapters examine the impact of behaviour change policies in the fields of health, personal finance and the environment. This topical and insightful book analyses how the nature of the human subject itself is re-imagined through behaviour change, and develops an analytical framework for evaluating the ethics, efficacy and potential empowerment of behaviour change.

This unique book will be of interest to advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and academics in a range of different disciplines. In particular, its inter-disciplinary focus on key themes in the social sciences – the state, citizenship, the meaning and scope of government – will make it essential reading for students of political science, sociology, anthropology, geography, policy studies and public administration. In addition, the book’s focus on the practical use of psychological and behavioural insights by politicians and policy makers should lead to considerable interest in psychology and behavioural economics.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages300
ISBN (Electronic)9780857936882
ISBN (Print)9780857936875
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2013


  • Libertarian paternalism
  • neuroliberalism


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