Healthy Nations: Behavioural Approaches in Public Health Policy

  • Jessica PykettEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Public Health Policy Research book series (PSPHPR)


This chapter explores the rise of behavioural approaches to public health policies in different nation-states, exploring these in the context of contrasting efforts to address the social and spatial determinants of health and well-being. It examines how moral and political arguments for health promotion have given way to ‘simpler’ health strategies, albeit those which are based on increasingly sophisticated evidence and data relating to human behaviour and decision-making. In highlighting place-based and geographically variable understandings of health inequalities, the chapter considers how behavioural public health policies, which are growing in global significance, recast notions of health citizenship and governance towards behavioural, universal and marketised ideals. Using case studies from Singapore, the UK and the USA, the chapter explores the wider ethics of the behavioural turn in terms of its unintended consequences, its long-term sustainability and its capacity to transform health inequalities in different geographical contexts.


Public policy Urban health Social determinants of health Lifestyles Practices Human geography 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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