Statutory planning as a form of social control : the evolution of town planning law in mandatory Palestine and Israel 1917-1980's
This socio-legal study of town and country planning draws upon the examples of the Israeli system and its predecessor of Mandatory Palestine, and studies them in the light of the British parent system. The underlying thesis is that statutory planning functions as a special component in a complex system of social control. Beyond its immediate concern with regulating the utilisation of the physical environment, statutory planning is designed and implemented with the aim of supporting the prevailing social order. The application to statutory planning systems of the concept of social control - which elucidates the regulation of behaviour in society and the phenomenon of social order - leads to the identification of three inter-related roles. These can be classified loosely as: 1) political role, to serve as a tool for effective government; 2) economic role, to utilise scarce resources efficiently; 3) social role, to advance human welfare. Their cumulative exercise contributes to the maintenance of the prevailing social order. This analysis shows that the social order throughout the history of Palestine and Israel. 1917-1980's was in constant flux. It is claimed that the Mandatory system, motivated by colonial ideology, attached excessive importance to statutory planning's political role in order to establish the authority of the British government over Palestine's rival communities. Planning's economic and social roles were relegated to secondary importance. During the Israeli system's formative stage, this political role, which suited the prevailing perception of representative democracy, was important in establishing and legitimising the new government. However, the social and economic roles were of paramount importance due to the prevailing ideology of collectivism. This led to a unique process of social engineering through physical planning. The current Israeli system reflects some new trends towards participatory democracy in planning organisation and individualism in the planning process and provisions, and a move away from narrow physical land use perceptions towards an integrated physical-economic-social outlook. Nevertheless, the basic principles of the early 1920's can Still be seen in the system of the 1980's.