Nudge this : behavioural economics & political marketing

Passera, Mark (2011) Nudge this : behavioural economics & political marketing. In: Transforming politics : new synergies - 61st Annual Conference; 18 - 21 Apr 2011, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Nudge This – Behavioural Economics & Political Marketing A key aspect of a behavioural economic paradigm is that there are limitations in defining the citizen as an informed rational processing machine. Arguing that rationality is bounded: human motivation and behaviour can be viewed as more likely to be influenced by biases, perceptions and general rules of thumbs (heuristics). Sunstein & Thaler (2008) in Nudge debunk the assumption of homo economicus and focus instead on design architecture as a form of libertarian paternalism. These views have obtained popular currency in both the political and business world. Building from the premise that consumers operate and move within spheres of a ‘bounded rationality’ this paper seeks to consider what the future implications are for political marketing and also for democracy predicated on a behavioural economic approach. If, as we are led to assume that value perception, narrative and emotion are more likely to impact on preferences and voting behaviour what lessons are there for political parties and finally what are the implications for democracy?

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