Guest co-editors:

Peter John (King's College London)
Michael Sanders (Behavioral Insights Team and King's College London)



Social norms have become the tool of choice for today's behavioral policy-makers. The inclusion of a social norm in a message or reminder can be a way to encourage citizens to carry out a wide range of socially desirable acts. The message usually indicates that a large majority of citizens have already carried out the task, which creates the norm of compliance among non-compliers. This is often called a descriptive social norm, which has been used to encourage the payment of taxes and fees, attendance at education, recycling and so on. There are also injunctive social norms, which convey a more prescriptive message, which has been less frequently used, but features in interventions on environmental outcomes.

We are looking to invite submissions for a symposium on social norms (both descriptive and injunctive) in public administration, to be published in the Journal of Behavioral Public Administration (JBPA). Papers should provide evidence of novel applications of social norms, either in policy area, geography, or method of implementation. We envisage papers about taxes and fees, environmental behaviors, education, development outcomes, but we are not prescriptive and encourage application from any field. We particularly welcome papers that report null results from well-designed studies, and papers by serving civil servants and bureaucrats, as well as from academics and researchers.



Please send the guest editors a title and a short abstract of between 50-100 words. Please say who you are and give your contact details. Please do this by the end of June 2018. Write to Peter John ( and Michael Sanders (

We will convey a decision in early July. After giving feedback to the accepted papers, the deadline for first submission of the full papers will be end of August 2018. After a round of reviews and more feedback, we envisage the submission of the final papers at the end of October 2018, with publication in early 2019. Please note that final manuscripts will be submitted by the guest co-editors to JBPA for double-blind peer review with final decisions regarding publication being made by JBPA editors. The submitted papers will need to conform to JPBA's guidelines for paper submissions:

The full CfP can be accessed here.