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Keywords:

  • nudge;
  • libertarian;
  • paternalism

This Commentary explores what the implications of the emergence of a putative ‘nudgeocracy’, and associated forms of neurologically-infused policy development, mean for human geographical research. Drawing on a 3-year research project into the rise of libertarian paternalism within the British polity, and our involvement in the recent House of Lords Behaviour Change Inquiry (House of Lords 2011 Behaviour change report[HL paper 179] Stationary Office, London), we argue that geographical research can make important contributions to the wider political and philosophical debates surrounding soft paternalist society.