Planning in England: New Public Management, Network Governance or Post-Democracy?
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© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.Three frameworks – New Public Management, Network Governance and Post-Democracy – are applied to identify and explain the direction of institutional travel in the field of land-use planning in England. These frameworks are used to assess the extent to which land-use planning has been centralized or decentralized over the last 20 years. The last Labour government (1997–2010) is contrasted with the Conservative-led Coalition government (2010–2015). Labour introduced planning policies and an underpinning regional administrative machinery that the latter has replaced with a ‘localist’ planning system and sub-regional Local Enterprise Partnerships. The article concludes that both Labour and the Conservative-led Coalition embarked on policies that involved increased centralization, but that the centralization took different forms, though both parties denied sub-state institutions the political or other resources to challenge the central government in Westminster. Points for practitioners: The dominant analytical perspectives on public administration are New Public Management and Network Governance. This article introduces a third perspective – Post-Democracy – not yet applied in public administration. Post-Democracy is developed here to depict government ministers as ‘political-bureaucratic managers’ oriented towards maintaining national economic competitiveness and mobilizing electoral support in new ways as the traditional, mass political party is declining. Consequently, ministers increasingly defer to business interests and default to a populist politics that often challenges established bureaucratic and professional interests within government. This article examines the implications of this political shift in the case of land-use planning in England.
- College Publications