Wed12Sep - New Labour and Planning - Symposium in Oxford

Mark mark at
Tue Sep 4 13:10:59 BST 2007

From:    Andy Inch - ainch at

Dear All,

Just a quick reminder about the New Labour and Planning event that will be held at Oxford Brookes University next Wednesday, the 12th of September.
Further details about the day can be found on the pnuk website:

If you're interested in coming then please let me know by email as soon as possible.
Best wishes and hope to see you there,

New Labour and Planning

We are now finalising the details of a one-day symposium on New Labour and Planning to be held at Oxford Brookes University on September 12 (and not June as previously advertised). The blurb at the bottom gives details of the intentions for the day. The draft schedule looks like this:

9.30 Coffee

10.00 Understanding ten years of new labour.

Chair: Tim Marshall (Oxford Brookes)

'The Political Ideology of New Labour' by Alan Finlayson (Swansea
University, author of 'Making Sense of New Labour')

'The Politial Economy of New Labour' by Matthew Watson (Warwick University)

'New Labour and local government' by Stuart Wilks-Heeg (University of


1.30 Understanding new labour and planning.

Chair: Greg Lloyd (University of Liverpool)

Modernising Planning by Mark Tewdwr-Jones (UCL)

'Lobbying inside New Labour' by Kelvin MacDonald

'Mediating Space and the Third Way' by Andy Inch (Oxford Brookes)


Cost £10

Contact ainch at for more information or to book a place
(bookings by the 5th of September please)

Outline of the event:

The symposium intends to provide an opportunity to reflect on
understandings of the ideological implications of the current Labour
government, the extent of its debt to an essentially neoliberal
inheritance, the changes that have been wrought by a decade of third-way governance and the prospects for the future beyond Tony Blair. Planning offers an insightful lens through which to reflect on many key issues of New Labour's legacy. The system and profession have been subject to a complex, extended and ongoing process of modernisation reflecting the Government's relentless drive for public sector reform and its impact on local governance, as well as the overriding concern for the competitiveness of the UK economy.

Indeed, given the scale and contested nature of the planning reform
process it is somewhat surprising, and even alarming that these issues
have received little critical attention from academic analysts within the discipline (though see Allmendinger and Tewdwr-Jones 2000, Allmendinger 2003), certainly when compared with the level of scrutiny devoted to Thatcherism (see especially Thornley 1993, Allmendinger and Thomas 1998).
This work drew extensively on broader debates and interpretations of the New Right to examine the specific implications and extent of change to the planning system.

The symposium is concerned to rekindle this kind of critical scrutiny,
arguing that there is an urgent requirement to facilitate debate about the nature and direction of change in British planning today, and the extent of essentially neoliberal continuity between New Right and New Left. It aims to do this through a broad inter-disciplinary approach, inviting a combination of contributions on New Labour that seek to juxtapose broader analyses alongside reflections on more specific implications for planning.
By doing so it is hoped to explore the opportunities and challenges facing those concerned with reviving both a more progressive planning and a wider progressive politics.

Andy Inch: ainch at

who will try and point you in the right direction. 

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