Journal Article


Linda Fox-Rogers
Mick Lennon



foucault qualitative interviews ethics philosophy morality planning

Morality, Power and the Planning Subject (2016)

Abstract Ethical issues are at the heart of planning. Thus, planning theory has long displayed an interest in debating both the ethical justification for planning and how the activity of planning can be rendered more ethically sensitive. However, comparatively little attention has been shown to how the very constitution of the planner as a 'moral subject' may be ethically problematic for planning practice. This paper addresses this lacuna through an engagement with the philosophy of Michel Foucault. In contrast to how his work is normally applied, this paper accords with Foucault's own direction that his later examination of ethics be used as a lens through which to read his earlier analysis of power and knowledge. Accordingly, the paper first outlines Foucault's innovative reinterpretation of how power and knowledge operate in society before setting this within his novel re-conception of ethics.  This theoretical exposition is then employed to interpret material drawn from in-depth qualitative interviews with twenty planning officers working in a range of different contexts.  The paper subsequently employs Foucault's ethically informed reading of power and knowledge to identify ethical issues arising from the approaches used by practitioners to justify their planning activities.  The paper concludes by suggesting how such issues can be resolved.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy

Full list of authors on original publication

Linda Fox-Rogers, Mick Lennon

Experts in our system

Mick Lennon
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 33