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Shared visions, unholy alliances: power, governance and deliberative processes in local transport planning.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Urban Studies
Number of pages22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The aim of this paper is to bring some critical reflection to bear on the upsurge of participatory rhetoric in local governance. The research discussed investigates two case studies of deliberative exercises used by local authorities to develop their local transport plans. The analysis avoids the rather simplistic �check list� evaluative models based upon the Habermasian ideals of communicative rationality and instead develops an approach which attends to the power relations embedded in the process of participation. Significantly, the research, across a range of stakeholder groups, reveals a deeply problematic relationship between citizen involvement and established structures of democratic decision-making. Attention is drawn to the institutional constraints which account for the limited realisation of the participatory agenda in local governance. Conclusions are also developed relating to both the process of participation evaluation and the wider consequences of the expansion of public involvement for the renewal of local democracy

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Urban Studies, 42 (12), 2005, © Informa Plc