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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Gordon MacLeod

Ormerod, E. & Macleod, G. (2019). Beyond Consensus and Conflict in Housing Governance: Returning to the Local State. Planning Theory 18(3): 319-338.

Author(s) from Durham


This article contends that the de-politicizing tendencies in urban planning that are often interpreted through a post-political frame of analysis might alternatively be investigated via the analytical lens of a transforming local state. Examining the formation of entrepreneurial municipal housing strategies in Gateshead, northeast England, the article reveals a recent history of community consensus being manipulated, a technocratic steering of participatory planning and a de-amplifying of dissenting voices. Amid protracted conditions of austerity, the more recent strategy sees Gateshead municipal authority assuming an increasingly ‘promotional’ role, essentially as a housing developer. Placing critical decisions over housing futures within Gateshead Regeneration Partnership, a potentially rough road towards attaining democratic legitimacy is actively being smoothed. These are all trends that are emblematic of a post-political repertoire. However, a more forensic examination reveals how these anti-democratic processes might be more appropriately understood as political accomplishments on the part of those who have been newly incorporated into a local state in transition. The article thereby offers a conceptual antidote to the post-political narrative.