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About this book

Introducing the major theories, issues and concepts in contemporary Political Theory, this text is a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the field. The book examines a range of topics to explore questions such as:

• What kinds of political community best support democracy?
• Do members of wealthy societies have duties to eradicate global poverty?
• Who or what should be the authority on human rights?

Chapters are carefully organized to enhance learning by first setting out rival perspectives on key political issues which are then compared and analysed through a series of key debates. Discussion boxes are used throughout the book to consider the policy implications of different theoretical perspectives from thinkers including John Rawls, Susan Okin, Isaiah Berlin, Jane Mansbridge and Will Kymlicka. Offering an in-depth survey of the landscape of contemporary Political Theory and written in an engaging and lively style, this book will equip students with the tools to think through the complex questions whose answers determine our collective political lives.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Abstract
This book is for the aspiring planning professional, working in the public or private sectors, a university or not-for-profit organization. It takes a broad view of planning, urban government and urban management to offer practical advice on developing the necessary attributes to be effective. The immediate and wider work environment will continue to be challenging as we work towards achieving sustainable urbanization and so the book reflects the inter-disciplinary nature of planning, drawing on a number of related fields including human resource management, management, sociology, psychology, political science and economics. Although management as a discipline is generally defined as a means of achieving goals or objectives using available resources, as a function, everyone manages. An effective planner knows their own capabilities, strengths and weaknesses and is committed to developing professionally. Since this book focuses on effective performance in the workplace, the emphasis is on the general capabilities needed to enable someone at the start of their career to self-manage.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 1. Planning, Is It For You?

Abstract
As it is a relatively young, and a numerically minor, profession, it is not surprising that many people know little about planning. Some would even go so far as to say that it is one of the most misunderstood professions. ‘It isn’t just rocket science, it is a lot more complex than that’ (Farmer 2012: xix). Although the places around us have been shaped by planning, or lack of it, as individuals we may not come into contact with a planner or the planning system in our day-to-day lives unless we make an effort to engage. Planning has not had the popular television exposure of the medical or legal professions -or for that matter the law enforcement agencies. Many will have consulted a medical practitioner or dentist from an early age and understand that they look after people’s health and teeth. Many will regularly read newspapers and magazines, online or in hard copy, and have an understanding that people called journalists write copy for these media. The environment contains structures and buildings which are automatically associated with architects and engineers. Little thought is given to the role planners will have played in allocating land for the activity and establishing the basic spatial planning principles and helping to create overall designs which are sensitive to local needs.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 2. Measuring Effectiveness — Competencies and Capabilities

Abstract
Chapter 1 made it clear that planning is demanding, challenging and rewarding and that the issues it tackles are complex. New entrants and early-career planners are the life blood of any profession and it is therefore important early on to have a sound understanding of the attributes which contribute to effectiveness. Unpacking effectiveness and what makes some people more effective than others in the workplace is anything but straightforward. How do we know which capabilities and attributes really make an early-career planner effective? This chapter considers the evidence, examines the research relevant for planning, acknowledging the contribution and influence of Michael Eraut and Donald Schön as well as studies carried out across a range of professions in recent years. This provides the background to the discipline-specific study undertaken to identify the specific management capabilities which make early-career planners effective in the workplace.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 3. Interpersonal Capability

Abstract
A new job is daunting, new place, new colleagues, new clients; it was really important for me to work on the relationships.
After four years as a planner, the relationships I have built up inside and outside the organization have helped make me an effective planner.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 4. Generic Capability

Abstract
Managing my first planning application involved learning a range of disciplines and skills, including time management, people management, communication with statutory bodies and the ability to write the required documents for the application. What has made me effective is being able to bring my IT skills to the workplace.
Flexibility and adaptability are the name of the game.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 5. Personal Capability

Abstract
At the workplace it is important to undertake menial tasks as a new entrant.
It is important to go above and beyond what is expected of you or your job description.
The drive to do things easily needs to be moderated by the need to work professionally and avoid the need to rework.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 6. Intellectual Capability

Abstract
Not being daunted by complexity. Having clarity about what information you are looking for. Knowing when to stop collecting information. Being able to say, I have enough information; I have covered 80 percent of the issues.
Think about who needs the information and how best to convey it.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 7. Profession-specific Capability

Abstract
Awareness of and acting in accordance with a professional code of ethics is very important. In particular, being respectful about fellow colleagues and avoiding conflict of interest, acting in the interest of the profession rather than the client.
This is a lot harder and requires a lot of confidence to achieve. Thinking and acting on behalf of a whole organization? Whoa! In addition to gender there is a need to appreciate other demographics and culture.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 8. Meeting Employer and Manager Expectations

Abstract
This book has almost come full circle. It started with the story of how planning has developed as a discipline and as a profession and examined the various roles and career paths early-career planners can choose from. Chapters 3–7 looked at each of the five capabilities to investigate how individual attributes help make early-career planners effective in the workplace. This chapter turns to the manager, who, representing the employer, is responsible for supervising and overseeing, directing and guiding as well as supporting and coaching the early-career planner. It identifies those attributes considered by them to be most important in making a new entrant effective. By comparing the views of managers and early-career planners, potential areas of difference are highlighted. The final section touches on the meaning of professionalism and the roles of the professional institutes.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 9. Lifewide Learning, Mentoring, Networking, Creativity, Imagination

Abstract
One of the aims of this book is to increase planners’ awareness of how to develop, maintain and improve their skills before and during the early-career phase in order to maximize their effectiveness in the workplace. Recurrent themes throughout the chapters have been the benefits of using lifewide learning, linking up with (a) suitable mentor(s), developing a network that provides support and creativity. This chapter looks a little more closely at these four aspects which complement the formal training and study.
Dory Reeves

Chapter 10. Conclusion

Abstract
Planning is a fascinating, rewarding and important discipline and profession, which has a huge role to play in delivering sustainable urbanization and addressing the global, national and local challenges ahead. The worldwide demand for planners will continue to increase and the issues will become even more demanding. However, as a relatively new and comparatively small profession, it has been omitted from previous large multi-disciplinary studies.
Dory Reeves
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