The Guardian gets part of their history right in a new article about government use of political theory and economics:
British government’s fondness for minor behavioural modification tactics began in the David Cameron era…
Indeed, you may recall in 2014 we hosted a discussion on exactly that topic:
…interface between economics and political science in health care policy analysis… [for the] “Behavioural Public Policy“ an interdisciplinary and international peer-reviewed journal devoted to behavioural research and its relevance to public policy.
However, I find it interesting that the article doesn’t realize the London School of Economics itself was practically founded on the principles of nudge based on personal data to influence citizens.
And that was based on principles going back at least to the 1700s.
Studying this in proper long-term history helps explain why so much of WWI and WWII has evidence of the British government’s fondness for minor behavior modification tactics, let alone during its colonial exploits — all frequent topics of this blog.