Nudging as a Common Practice in International Aid

My small contributing message to this debate is that nudging plays an important role in aid politics. Substantially, there are parallel debates going on, and you might find some of the insights useful by means of transferral. As this is a new and explorative debate, there might still be space for some inspiration from related fields.

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Take your 3D glasses off – How nudging provokes the way we imagine law

Nudging does polarize, but it also challenges the conventional way German legal scholars imagine the world of law. Even though it is good intuition to be afraid of a totalitarian government of economic rationality, it would be wrong to defend our current logic of judicial proportionality against the nudging approach. Instead, we should embrace democratically supervised economic expertise within our regulatory framework, without giving up on the possibility of radical love and revolution.

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Why lawyers should deal with Nudges

Emanuel Towfigh and Christian Traxler have asked why the nudging debate has arrived so late in the German legal discourse. They argue that this is due to a mixture of reasons related to legal culture and legal education. I agree with their analysis. So let me address one question that both authors do not touch. Why should lawyers deal with the question of nudging? Wouldn’t this rather be a task for psychologists or behavioral economists? Prima facie, there seems to be a lot in favor of leaving the discussion on nudges to social scientists. A nudge seeks to alter people’s behavior without restraining choices. In order to influence people’s behavior, however, you have to analyze behavioral patterns, which is impossible without empirical methods.

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Warum Juristen sich mit „Nudges” beschäftigen sollten

Emanuel Towfigh und Christian Traxler fragen in ihrem Beitrag, warum die Debatte um „nudges“ so spät im deutschen rechtswissenschaftlichen Diskurs angekommen ist. Sie identifizieren dafür mehrere Gründe, die zum einen in der Rechtskultur, zum anderen in der rechtswissenschaftlichen Ausbildung verankert sind. Ich stimme ihren Ausführungen im Wesentlichen zu. Daher möchte ich den Blick auf einen anderen Aspekt legen, den sie in ihrem Beitrag nicht angesprochen haben: Warum sollten sich Juristen mit „nudges“ beschäftigen?

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Take your 3D glasses off – How nudging provokes the way we imagine law

Nudging does polarize, but it also challenges the conventional way German legal scholars imagine the world of law. Even though it is good intuition to be afraid of a totalitarian government of economic rationality, it would be wrong to defend our current logic of judicial proportionality against the nudging approach. Instead, we should embrace democratically supervised economic expertise within our regulatory framework, without giving up on the possibility of radical love and revolution.

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Path dependencies of nudging, and how to overcome them

In a thought-provoking comment on the legitimacy of nudging, Towfigh and Traxler rightly point out that nudges have many facets. As a result, their legitimacy has to be judged case by case. Responding partly to Towfigh and Traxler and partly to the broader issue of the legitimacy of nudging, I want to distinguish between two aspects that are raised in the comment: firstly, public and legal legitimacy and secondly, legitimacy among legal professionals.

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Nudging: Neither a Novelty, nor a Promising Lead – Unless in Context

If we take a look through the lens of administrative science we see two things: firstly, that the concept of nudging cannot rightfully claim to have any news value, and secondly, that it needs to be placed within the context of contemporary insights from the fields of controlling science and communication theory.

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A Design Perspective on Nudging

Although design thinking has become a buzzword in business and although human-centered design approaches are being explored in a range of public innovation labs concerned with developing and delivering citizen-centric policies and public services, nudging is rarely discussed for its design implications. What would such a discussion contribute and how may it help us focus on the potential benefits of a nudging approach? It would begin by questioning how nudging enhances or diminishes people’s abilities to take deliberate action or to make informed decisions.

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Pfadabhängigkeiten des Nudging, und wie sie überwunden werden können

In a thought-provoking comment on the legitimacy of nudging, Towfigh and Traxler rightly point out that nudges have many facets. As a result, their legitimacy has to be judged case by case. Responding partly to Towfigh and Traxler and partly to the broader issue of the legitimacy of nudging, I want to distinguish between two aspects that are raised in the comment: firstly, public and legal legitimacy and secondly, legitimacy among legal professionals.

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Nudging: nicht wirklich neu und auch – ohne Kontextualisierung – nicht weiterführend

Setzt man die verwaltungswissenschaftliche Brille auf, so zeigen sich zwei Dinge: erstens, dass das Nudging-Konzept keinen Neuigkeitswert für sich beanspruchen kann und dass es – zweitens – in den Kontext zeitgemäßer steuerungswissenschaftlicher und kommunikationstheoretischer Einsichten gestellt werden muss.

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