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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Planning in the Face of Power by John Forester


john Forester's new book pursues several objectives: to apply criti­ cal social theory to the study of planning, to make sense of the micro­ processes that constitute planning practice, and to help planners be progressive practitioners. Forester brings together, in a single volume, essays which have appeared in various journals since 1 980 and which have been reworked as chapters for this publication. The key concep­ tual development in this work consists of redefining planning in terms of communicative action and of refining advocacy planning with "the practical recognition of systematic sources of misinformation" (p. 46). For Forester, planning involves not only technical analysis, but primarily a clash of arguments and social identities. Progressive planning there­ fore requires arguing and organizing, as well as an emancipation from oppressive structures. His is an important, valuable, praiseworthy work.

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