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Neoliberal business as usual or paradigm shift? Planning under austerity localism

Dobson, M. ORCID: (2019) Neoliberal business as usual or paradigm shift? Planning under austerity localism. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00085472


This thesis presents an empírica/ qualitative analysis of the planning policy reforms and austerity measures enacted under the Cameron-led Coalition and majority Conservative Governments 2010-2016. The conceptual framework is developed by drawing on a neo/ibera/ structure-agency approach, with a specific focus on how externalised 'structural' planning neoliberalisations impact on local planning authority departments and planner's internalised 'agency' in England. The research is based on 40 semi-structured interviews with planning managers representing a diversity of rural-urban and regional contexts across England. The guiding rationale is that the particular scope, scale and temporal context of austerity, localism and planning reforms in England post-2010 represents more than a neo/ibera/ 'business as usual' approach, but rather forms a more fundamental set of post-crisis changes to the professional roles of public planners and objectives of the planning system more generally, in line with wider attempts at state restructuring during this period. The argument is made that the reallocation of responsibility and risk through such reforms has been key to the unfolding state restructuring in England post-2010, with planning further becoming both a punch bag for, but also agent of, neoliberalisations in England. However, that despite being conscripted into a stronger practice context of deregulation and austerity, the institutional positioning and professionalism and ethics of planners means that planning agency 'is in many respects the last fine of defence to space itself being neoliberalized' (Lord and Tewdwr-Jones, 2014, p. 357).

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Street, E. and Musson, S.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:85472
Date on Title Page:2018


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