Countering ‘The Dark Side’ of Planning

Power, Governmentality, Counter-Conduct

Authored by: Margo Huxley

The Routledge Handbook of Planning Theory

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138905016
eBook ISBN: 9781315696072
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter continues an exploration of Foucauldian approaches to planning theory and, like Chapter 16, notes that Foucauldian concepts and perspectives have been productive of significant critical studies of urban/regional/environmental/spatial planning and land-use regulation. The discussion here argues that these sometimes quite disparate approaches to the analysis of planning policy or practice often draw on particular facets of Foucault’s thought in isolation from an interconnected range of concepts across his works: in particular, the notion of ‘counter-conduct’ has not been taken up in any detail. I suggest that an examination of counter-conducts opens up more nuanced possibilities than the sometimes rather one-sided use made of Foucault’s work on power, discipline and governmentality. An analysis of counter-conducts, in effect, counters the ‘dark side’ of planning.

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