The (centralised) collection and dissemination of information is a common feature of policymaking, and many policy tools directly originate and benefit from governments’ nodal position. It allows detection and information gathering unavailable elsewhere in the social network, and facilitates the spreading of messages to specific individuals, groups, or the public at large. Traditionally, expectations of people’s reactions to such policy tools are based on models of rationality and maximisation of self-interest. However, the ongoing popularisation of behavioural insights in policy-making is shifting the focus towards the use of empirically observed behaviour and people’s cognitive biases to tailor information to ‘nudge’ them towards socially desirable choices. This shift is affecting both procedural and substantive policy tool design. This chapter first discusses the concept of nodality and two (recent) instruments based on it: political communication and social marketing. It then considers the increased use of information-based nudges by governments and under what circumstances nudges can be seen as forming a distinct form of policy tool.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Policy Design
EditorsMichael Howlett, Ishani Mukherjee
ISBN (Electronic)9781351252911
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • Policy Tools, Nudging, Nodality, Social Marketing, Political Communication, Policy Effectiveness

ID: 36196568