Neoliberal theory and thinking has been highly influential in planning and other areas of state activity over the past three to four decades (see, for example, McGuirk, 2005; Andersen and Pløger, 2007; Purcell, 2009; Gunder, 2010; Allmendinger, 2016). While many would not agree with Fukuyama’s rejoicing around the triumph of free-market liberalism following the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe (1989, pp. 3–4), there is little doubt that neoliberal economics has become a dominant paradigm across a wide range of countries. Nevertheless, the term ‘neoliberal’ is a broad one that encompasses a multitude of different emphases and positions. It is also not helped by the rather general and abstract definitions that seem to accompany the term. For example, Swyngedouw (2007) believes neoliberalism involves new modes of socioeconomic regulation and a shift away from distributive policies, welfare considerations and direction service provision towards more market-orientated and market-dependent approaches aimed at pursuing economic growth. This may be so but what does such a shift mean for planning and planners? There has been much talk of the changes to planning being driven by neoliberalism to the point that it is almost a permanent prefix to the word ‘planning’. This combination of ubiquity and vagueness in the understanding of neoliberalism is further underlined by the implications upon different sectors such as planning where there has been a variety of different experiences of neoliberal planning between different places and through time.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Neoliberal Planning
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number