Working to make government more effective

Hybrid event

Inside the Political Mind: How the human side of politics shapes behaviour

Greg Power, Professor David Halpern and Professor Meg Russell joined us to discuss how the human side of politics shapes behaviour.

Professor David Halpern, Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Dr Hannah White, Greg Power, and Professor Meg Russell on stage at an event at the Institute for Government.

Watch the event

Listen to the event

Political behaviour can often look odd, idiosyncratic and entirely self-serving. Media coverage unsurprisingly tends to focus on the seedier side of politics, finding explanations in individual ambition and the pursuit of self-interest. But this overlooks the human side of why politicians do what they do and how it shapes the path of political development.

Inside the Political Mind, the new book by Greg Power, draws on Greg’s experience of working with hundreds of politicians in more than 60 countries to provide a proper understanding of political behaviour. It explores the influence of social norms, public expectations and the personal interests of MPs on how politics works, and how it might be reformed. 

To mark the book’s publication, the Institute for Government is delighted to host Greg and a panel of experts to discuss how politicians’ personal interests affect the work of government – and to reveal how the seemingly strange behaviour of politicians takes on a whole new logic when viewed through the eyes of politicians themselves. 

We will be joined by: 

  • Rt Hon Alistair Burt, former minister at the Foreign Office and Department of Health
  • Professor David Halpern, President of the Behavioural Insights Team
  • Greg Power, author of Inside the Political Mind
  • Professor Meg Russell, Director of the Constitution Unit

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Hannah White, Director of the Institute for Government. 

Follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter) @IfGEvents and join the conversation using #IfGpoliticalmind

Our experts

Institute for Government

Related content

02 MAR 2010 Report


Our new report explores how behaviour change theory can help meet current policy challenges.

10 JUL 2018 Report

Behavioural Government

Governments are increasingly using behavioural insights to design, enhance and reassess their policies and services.

11 MAR 2020 Explainer

“Nudge Unit”

The Behavioural Insights team, popularly known as the ‘Nudge Unit’, is playing a big role in helping the government formulate its response to coronavi