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ECPR Standing Group on the European Union 10th Biennial Conference LUISS, Rome

Behavioural Change and Public Policy

Comparative Politics
Environmental Policy
Policy Analysis
Public Policy
Workshop Number
Workshop Director
Holger Strassheim
University of Bielefeld
Workshop Co-Director
Silke Beck
University of Vienna

In the past ten years, we can observe the global spread of behavioural change instruments as new modes of public policy. Behavioural teams and ‘nudging’ networks have been established across countries and at the European Commission in order to facilitate the application of insights from behavioural economics and psychology in different policy areas. The rise of behaviourally informed policies goes along with political debates on state-citizen relations (‘libertarian paternalism’) and economic debates on alternative measurements of progress (‘subjective well-being’). The aim of the workshop is to cover both, the impact of ‘behavioural governance’ and its normative implications. Based on an international and cross-sectoral perspective, the workshop focuses on key questions that have not been answered yet: What are the mechanisms behind the rise of behavioural economics over the past ten years? How can we describe and explain the diffusion of behavioural change instruments across countries and policy areas? In what ways are behavioural change instruments combined with existing tools of regulation and policy-making? What are the unintended consequences? Moreover: What is the role of organizations and networks (e.g. behavioural insights teams, nudging networks) in this? Can we observe new or different practices of “empirically informed regulation” (Sunstein)? How is this changing the ‘ecosystem of expertise’ in Europe and beyond? Finally: How does behaviourally informed policy change the relationship between science, politics and the public? In what ways has the debate on ‘libertarian paternalism’ changed the notion of the state? What are the consequences for macroeconomic discourses on welfare, wealth and inequality? The workshop extends the current discussion about the effectiveness of specific applications of behavioural change. Its purpose is to provide the building blocks for a comparative perspective on both, how behavioural approaches are changing public policies and in what ways they influence discourses on state, science, economy and society.

Paper List

Title Details
Behavioralizing Europe: How Behavioral Economics Entered EU Policymaking View Paper Details
Behaviour Change and the Demographic Challenge View Paper Details
Behavioural Governance: Evaluation and Empirical Intelligence in Policy-Making Processes View Paper Details
Behavioural Insights Applied to Policy in Europe View Paper Details
Bureaucratic Reputation and Executive Governance – the Reputational Strategies of Central Government Reform Units View Paper Details
Ethics of the ‘Nudge’ in the Public Sector: A Systematic Review View Paper Details
Forward Nudge! The Advance of Behavioural Administration View Paper Details
Governance in a Nudge World: A Philosophical Review of the Literature View Paper Details
Nudging Before the Nudge? Behavioral Regulation and Rise of the Behavioral Economics View Paper Details
Nudging is not just Automatic: Freedom of Choice and Informative Nudges View Paper Details
'Nudging the Jetset to Offset': Voluntary Carbon Offsets and the Limits to Nudging View Paper Details
'Nudging' the Youth into (Self-)Employment View Paper Details
On Her Majesty’s Service? The Behavioural Insights Team and its role in the Global Spread of Behavioural Change Policies View Paper Details
Patterns and Cycles of Behavioral Economics in Economics and Public Policy: A Bibliometric Analysis View Paper Details
Policy and Regulatory Dynamics of Behaviour Change in Health: Bottlenecks, Politics and Practicalities View Paper Details
Policy Tools and Their Targets: Beyond Nudges and Utility Maximization in Policy Compliance View Paper Details
The Enzymatic Effect of Behavioural Economics – Theoretical and Empirical Findings from Regulating Life Style Risks View Paper Details
The Influence of Social Norm Interventions on Voluntary Carbon Offsetting View Paper Details
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