chapter  8
10 Pages

The shadow of experience: the habitus

In this part I continue exploration of the ways in which different actors’ values and mind-sets affect planning outcomes and relate to systemic power structures. I concentrate on the activities of planning officers and elected representatives (ERs) and attempt in particular to fill the gap between officer recommendation and elected representatives’ decisions by opening up the hidden transcripts of the politics of decision-making, the very logic of democratic practice. These communicative behaviours which precede and are construed in the ritualised formal process of political decision-making form a shadow of power in which practitioners and theorists work. I attempt to cast light on such shadows in order that planning practitioners may be more able to understand the ‘real world’ in which they work, to anticipate actions and reactions and to improvise accordingly.