IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Self-perceptions of the role of the planner


  • Linda Fox-Rogers
  • Enda Murphy


The role of the planning practitioner has received considerable attention in a diverse range of theoretical and empirical debates within the broad spectrum of planning scholarship from normative debates surrounding the planner's role in society, to more empirical investigations into the skills, attributes, and evolving nature of planning practitioners. Fundamental questions surrounding the role and purpose of planners have also entered into more mainstream discussions as the democratic nature of the planning system has been consistently undermined by allegations of misconduct, corruption, and incompetence. Despite the broad range of literature and debate which centres on the role of the planner, relatively few studies have explored the views of planning practitioners themselves, making it difficult to judge whether the ideas of planning academics are actually shared by those in the field. In this paper we seek to address this particular gap and argue that such insights are critical in determining the extent to which planning practitioners serve to challenge, maintain, or reinforce existing power imbalances in the planning system. The methodology consists of a series of qualitative interviews with twenty local authority planners working throughout the Greater Dublin Area, Ireland. The results suggest that planners' self-perceptions of their role tend to reflect traditional pluralist and managerialist perspectives. More broadly, the results suggest that the role orientations of contemporary planners are being shaped by dominant discourses in current planning ideology — namely, collaborative and participatory approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Fox-Rogers & Enda Murphy, 2016. "Self-perceptions of the role of the planner," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 43(1), pages 74-92, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirb:v:43:y:2016:i:1:p:74-92

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:envirb:v:43:y:2016:i:1:p:74-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.