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English planning and governmentality: the case of the London Legacy Development Corporation

Sagoe, Cecil; (2018) English planning and governmentality: the case of the London Legacy Development Corporation. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates how contemporary English planning operates as a system of governmentality. It explores what policy agendas, what rationalities of governing, and which governance actors have shaped the London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC’s) housing and regeneration plans for London’s Olympic area. In doing so, the thesis discusses how English planning’s structural technologies and statutory spaces of governing currently operate to shape the production of local-level plans. Crucially, the LLDC’s planning process offers an important opportunity to observe in real time the structuring impacts of the English planning system on a Local Plan production process. This thesis adopts a broad conceptual approach which draws from Foucauldian literature, critical approaches to neoliberalism, relational approaches to multi-level governing, the regulatory capitalism discourse, and critical pragmatism. To gather research data, a multi-method approach was employed comprising process observation, participant observation, planning document analysis and interviews. This thesis presents three key findings. Firstly, that English planning has structured the LLDC into privileging economic growth goals, market-based criteria, the role of the private sector, financial considerations, and technocratic forms of governing within their housing and regeneration plans; although this thesis discusses other policy goals and rationalities of governing that have also shaped the LLDC’s plans. Secondly, that English planning’s structural technologies of governing, and statutory spaces within the LLDC’s planning framework, have empowered governance actors who are privileging these policy goals and rationalities of governing to exert chief influence over the LLDC’s housing and regeneration plans. Thirdly, that governance actors who are challenging these policy goals and rationalities of governing, and seeking to privilege social justice goals and principles, have had marginal influences on the LLDC’s plans. Bringing these findings into conversation with this thesis’ conceptual framework, the argument is developed that in the arena of local-level planning English planning currently operates as a system of neoliberal governmentality.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: English planning and governmentality: the case of the London Legacy Development Corporation
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043514
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