Planners – A silenced profession? The politicisation of planning and the need for fearless speech
Journal article, 2017

With the launch of over 40 official investigations between 2010 and 2014 alone, planning is clearly an area of renewed political interest in Sweden. Drawing on Jodi Dean’s interpretation of politicisation, which entails raising the particular to the level of the universal, in this article I argue that we are currently witnessing ongoing politicisation of planning, but of a form which aims at making planners loyal to the current neoliberal politics. I situate this argument within a wider debate which contends that democracy today is characterised by trivialisation and conformity. In response to this situation and drawing on Michel Foucault’s work on the concept of parrhesia, which means fearless speech, I identify a need for planners to develop a critical ethos and shoulder the necessary role of resistance to politics.

local authority planners




critical ethos

fearless speech



Kristina Grange

Planning Theory

1473-0952 (ISSN)

Vol. 16 3 275-295

Subject Categories

Social and Economic Geography

Other Social Sciences



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