*Social engineering is a discipline in political science that refers to efforts to influence popular attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale, whether by governments or private groups. In the political arena, the counterpart of social engineering is political engineering.
For various reasons, the term has been imbued with negative connotations. However, virtually all law and governance has the effect of seeking to change behavior and could be considered "social engineering" to some extent. Prohibitions on murder, rape, suicide and littering are all policies aimed at discouraging undesirable behaviors. In British and Canadian jurisprudence, changing public attitudes about a behaviour is accepted as one of the key functions of laws prohibiting it. Governments also influence behavior more subtly through incentives and disincentives built into economic policy and tax policy, for instance, and have done so for centuries.* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_(political_science)
see also Cracker context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_(security)