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Title: The new planning, and the new planner : modernisation, culture change and the regulation of professional identities in English local planning
Author: Inch, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 2136
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2009
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Reforms to the English planning system introduced from 2001 by the New Labour government under the rubric of "modernisation" have made a series of claims to revitalise planning as a governmental and professional activity. In order to realise the ambitious goals of reform there have been widespread calls for a "culture change", particularly amongst professional planners in the public sector. The discourse of culture change is rooted in the managerialist thinking that has been central to long-term processes of state restructuring, and suggests a concern to regulate the attitudes and identities of workers. The thesis aims to interrogate the claims that have been made for a reformed planning system and practice. In so doing it seeks to uncover the cultural politics of modernisation, assessing the ways in which the discourses of reform have targeted and sought to change local planning cultures and planners' roles and identities. It therefore opens up identity as an analytical lens for assessing the modernisation of planning. I argue that the modemisation agenda has been marked by a series of tensions, simultaneously positioning planners as the agents of modernisation, but also as objects to be modernised. Reform has therefore imposed a considerable burden on planners as they seek to understand what is expected of them, and negotiate their professional identities in the midst of a complex set of changes that have intensified the demands of their practice. This suggests the need for greater attentiveness to the lived experience of processes of reform, and its impacts on those charged with realising change.
Supervisor: Marshall, Tim ; Ward, Steve Sponsor: Oxford Brookes University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral