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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Framing and nudging are both ways of designing the contexts that influence people’s interpretations and choices. Both have recently garnered significant attention as potential methods for effecting environmental change. Toward this goal, both attempt to work with certain human characteristics and tendencies in order to encourage rather than force people to live more sustainably. Critics rightly worry that government, “experts,” or other leaders may frame and nudge in manipulative, paternalistic, individualizing, and superficial ways, treating people as objects to be swayed or managed within existing value-systems and institutions. Yet the context design accomplished by framing and nudging cannot be avoided in communal life. The question, then, is not whether to engage in these activities, but how. This chapter argues that context design can be a democratic tool for a greener future, promoting deliberation about environmental issues and encouraging communal self-nudging toward more ecologically balanced forms of living.

Keywords: framing, nudging, context design, manipulation, paternalism, individualization, democracy, deliberation, environmental change, green future

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