Nudging conformity and benefit sanctions

Politics and Insights

cogs

“Behavioural theory is a powerful tool for the government communicator, but you don’t need to be an experienced social scientist to apply it successfully to your work.”
Alex Aiken
Executive Director of
Government Communications

Normalising state punishment of the poorest citizens

When it comes to technocratic fads like nudge, it’s worth bearing in mind that truth and ethics quite often have an inversely proportional relationship with the profit motive. It’s a cognitive bias, if you will.

I’ve written more than one critical piece about the Government’s part-privatised Behavioural Insights Team, particularly its insidious and malevolent influence on the range of psychocratic policies aimed at “behavioural changes” which are being imposed on the poorest citizens. 

From the shrinking category of legitimate “disability” to forcing people to work for no pay on exploitative workfare schemes, “nudge” has been used to euphemistically frame punitive policies, “applying the principles of behavioural economics…

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