Bounded interdisciplinarity: critical interdisciplinary perspectives on context and evidence in behavioural public policies | Semantic Scholar

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Bounded interdisciplinarity: critical interdisciplinary perspectives on context and evidence in behavioural public policies – Feitsma and Whitehead, 2019

Bounded interdisciplinarity: critical interdisciplinary perspectives on context and evidence in behavioural public policies

J. FeitsmaM. Whitehead Published 2019 Sociology

A behavioural public policy movement has flourished within the global policy realm. While this movement has been deemed interdisciplinary, incorporating behavioural science theories and methods in a neoclassical economics-governed policy process, this paper analyses the bounded form of interdisciplinarity that characterizes it. We claim that an engagement is missing with the broader sweep of social sciences, which share similar concerns but deploy different analytical perspectives from those of behavioural public policy. Focusing on two central concepts (context and evidence), we aim to show how behavioural public policy’s bounded interdisciplinarity implies constrained understandings of context and evidence, thereby limiting its complex problem-solving abilities. At the same time, we highlight some alternative examples of behavioural public policy practice that do explore new critical interdisciplinary horizons. Submitted 8 October 2018; revised 28 June 2019; accepted 11 July 2019 Introduction: behavioural public policy and bounded interdisciplinarity In his book How Far to Nudge? Assessing Behavioural Public Policy (2018), Peter John charts the startling rise of behaviourally informed public policies. Fusing the insights of psychological, behavioural and economic sciences, behavioural public policies (BPPs) are associated with the development of governmental interventions in areas of public health, environment and personal finance (inter alia), which are predicated on more empirically grounded * Correspondence to: Aberystwyth University – Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DB, UK. Email: msw@aber.ac.uk Behavioural Public Policy, Page 1 of 27 © Cambridge University Press doi:10.1017/bpp.2019.30 LESS

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[PDF] Bounded interdisciplinarity: critical interdisciplinary perspectives on context and evidence in behavioural public policies | Semantic Scholar