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

  • JORAM FEITSMA (a1) and MARK WHITEHEAD (a2)

Abstract

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.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence to: Aberystwyth University – Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DB, UK. Email: msw@aber.ac.uk

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

  • JORAM FEITSMA (a1) and MARK WHITEHEAD (a2)

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