Neuroliberalism: behavioural government in the twenty-first century

Mark Whitehead, Rhys Jones, Rachel Lilley, Jessica Pykett, Rachel Howell

Research output: Book/ReportBook

21 Citations (Scopus)


Many governments in the developed world can now best be described as 'neuroliberal': having a combination of neoliberal principles with policy initiatives derived from insights in the behavioural sciences.

Neuroliberalism presents the results of the first critical global study of the impacts of the behavioural sciences on public policy and government actions, including behavioural economics, behavioural psychology and neuroeconomics. Drawing on interviews with leading behaviour change experts, organizations and policymakers, and discussed in alignment with a series of international case studies, this volume provides a critical analysis of the ethical, economic, political and constitutional implications of behaviourally oriented government. It explores the impacts of the behavioural sciences on everyday life through a series of themes including: understandings of the human subject; interpretations of freedom; the changing form and function of the state; the changing role of the corporation in society; and the design of everyday environments and technologies.

The research presented in this volume reveals a diverse set of neuroliberal approaches to government that offer policy-makers and behaviour change professionals a real choice in relation to the systems of behavioural government they can implement. This book also argues that the behavioural sciences have the potential to support much more effective systems of government, but also generate new ethical concerns that policy-makers should be aware of.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages224
ISBN (Electronic)9781317410171
ISBN (Print)9781138923829, 9781138923836
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2017

Publication series

NameEconomics in the Real World


  • Neoliberalism
  • behavioural change
  • Behavioural economics
  • Public Policy
  • Political Geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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