Power, Property, and Corporatism: The Political Sociology of Planning

Power, Property, and Corporatism: The Political Sociology of Planning

Power, Property, and Corporatism: The Political Sociology of Planning

Power, Property, and Corporatism: The Political Sociology of Planning

Excerpt

This study of the political sociology of urban development is concerned with the theory and practice of power in cities. A theoretical analysis of the concept, structure and use of power is conducted. An empirical evaluation of the outcomes of its use, with respect to land-use planning in one city, is presented as an illustration of its general characteristics.

In Part I, alternative definitions of power and its related concepts, like authority and politics, are outlined. This provides the basis for the more specific analyses which are needed to examine its uses in urban development. Previous analyses of power, particularly in the context of local communities, are reviewed. These show both the importance of power as a determining factor in the nature of cities and the difficulties associated with trying to study it empirically.

The problems of studying power are specified. They include difficulties of definition; contradictory theories of society and the state, which form the context and vehicle for the use of power; problems of identification of significant participants or non-participants; differences arising from the lack of similarity between different communities and their historical development; methodological problems; standardisation of the interpretation of results; and finally, the necessity to measure the outcomes of power.

The conclusion reached in Chapter 1 is that the most significant indicator of the distribution of power in a given society or community is the distribution of the outcomes of political and economic decisions. This is why the empirical sections of the study seek to show what the immediate outcomes-of planning decisions were on urban developments over a period of time.

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