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Smoke Free? Public Health Policy, Coercive Paternalism, and the Ethics of Long‐Game Regulation

Smoke Free? Public Health Policy, Coercive Paternalism, and the Ethics of Long‐Game Regulation Contemporary public health advocacy promotes a ‘fifth wave of public health’: a ‘cultural’ shift wherein the public's health becomes recognized as a common good, to be realized through concerted developments in the institutional, social, and physical environments. With reference to examples from anti‐tobacco policy, in this article I critically examine the fifth‐wave agenda in England. I explore it as an approach that, in the face of liberal individualism, works through a ‘long‐game’ method of progressive social change. Given the political context, and a predominant concern with narrow understandings of legal coercion, I explain how efforts are made to apply what are presented as less ethically contentious framings of regulatory methods, such as are provided by ‘libertarian paternalism’ (‘nudge theory’). I argue that these fail as measures of legitimacy for long‐game regulation: the philosophical foundations of public health laws require a greater – and more obviously contestable, but also more ambitious – critical depth. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Law and Society Wiley

Smoke Free? Public Health Policy, Coercive Paternalism, and the Ethics of Long‐Game Regulation

Journal of Law and Society , Volume 47 (1) – Mar 1, 2020

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References (35)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2020 Cardiff University Law School
ISSN
0263-323X
eISSN
1467-6478
DOI
10.1111/jols.12213
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary public health advocacy promotes a ‘fifth wave of public health’: a ‘cultural’ shift wherein the public's health becomes recognized as a common good, to be realized through concerted developments in the institutional, social, and physical environments. With reference to examples from anti‐tobacco policy, in this article I critically examine the fifth‐wave agenda in England. I explore it as an approach that, in the face of liberal individualism, works through a ‘long‐game’ method of progressive social change. Given the political context, and a predominant concern with narrow understandings of legal coercion, I explain how efforts are made to apply what are presented as less ethically contentious framings of regulatory methods, such as are provided by ‘libertarian paternalism’ (‘nudge theory’). I argue that these fail as measures of legitimacy for long‐game regulation: the philosophical foundations of public health laws require a greater – and more obviously contestable, but also more ambitious – critical depth.

Journal

Journal of Law and SocietyWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2020

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