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Governing health and consumptionSensible citizens, behaviour and the city$
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Clare Herrick

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426383

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426383.001.0001

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Being sensible

Being sensible

(p.17) Two Being sensible
Governing health and consumption

Clare Herrick

Policy Press

This chapter examines the conceptual significance of the term ‘sensible’ and explores it in relation to the irrevocable tension between freedom and coercion that characterises the government of liberal societies. Being sensible, it is argued, sits at the precarious fulcrum of the need to invest in and engage with the market as consumers while at the same time identifying and managing the negative externalities of such consumption choices. The chapter argues that maintaining this delicate balance between self-indulgence and self-restraint requires the creation and deployment of socially normative behaviours. Being sensible as a tool of governance is given relevance not just for who is acting, but where these actions are taking place.

Keywords:   consumption choice, making sense, liberal societies, self-indulgence, self-restraint, governance, socially normative behaviours

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