In this paper our aim is to bring some critical reflection to bear on the upsurge of participatory rhetoric in local governance. The research we discuss investigates two case studies of deliberative exercises used by local authorities to develop their Local Transport Plans, chosen as exemplars of authorities seen to be at the forefront of participatory transport planning. Our analysis avoids the rather simplistic ‘check list’ evaluative models based upon the Habermasian ideals of communicative rationality and instead develops an approach which attends to the power relations embedded in the process of participation.
Karen Bickerstaff & Gordon Walker
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia - Institute for Environment and Sustainability Research, Department of Geography