Role Conflict: Planners Torn Between Dialogical Ideals and Neo-liberal Realities

Authored by: Tore Sager

The Ashgate Research Companion to Planning Theory

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754672548
eBook ISBN: 9781315279251
Adobe ISBN: 9781315279244


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The purpose of this chapter is to show that the current role of planners, in a number of societies where neo-liberal ideas play an important part in shaping economic-political life, contains tensions which affect negatively the everyday working conditions of many planners. Although planners in a variety of administrations and public agencies will presumably recognize the conflicting demands analyzed in this chapter, the planners most likely to feel the cross pressure are employed in the regional or county offices of national or state agencies (for example, in Norway, the Public Roads Administration or the Water Resources Administration). They work on local plans and projects developed through processes that include citizen participation, and their administration has in many cases been reorganized in accordance with neo-liberal management ideals.

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