Discursive Institutionalism and Planning Ideas

Authored by: Simin Davoudi

The Routledge Handbook of Institutions and Planning in Action

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085732
eBook ISBN: 9781315111230
Adobe ISBN:


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The history of planning is full of stories about visionary ideas that have radically changed planning thoughts and practices. However, planning scholars have seldom studied ‘ideas’ as the object of their inquiry and to understand the relative analytical power of ideas, compared with interests or institutions, in explaining change or stability. As a first step towards studying the role of planning ideas, this chapter provides an overview of key debates in ideational approaches focusing specifically on discursive institutionalism. Drawing on the rhetorical appeal to ethos, it discusses why some ideas succeed while others fail.

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