Publication Date: 2011
How can governments persuade citizens to act in socially beneficial ways? Thaler and Sunstein's book Nudge drew on work from behavioural economics to claim that citizens might be encouraged through 'light touch interventions' (i.e.nudges) to take action. In this ground-breaking successor to Nudge, Peter John and his colleagues argue that an alternative approach also needs to be considered, based on what they call a 'think' strategy. Their core idea is that citizens should themselves deliberate and decide their own priorities as part of a process of civic and democratic renewal. The authors not only set out these divergent approaches in theory but they offer evidence from a series of experiments to show how using techniques from 'nudge' or 'think' repertoires work in practice and how that practice is made effective. The book is unique in exploring an expanding field of policy and social science interest - changing civic behaviour, using insights from another growing field of social science interest - the rise of experimental methods.