This book introduces the methodology of critical discourse analysis (CDA) to the study of participatory planning. CDA uses linguistic analysis to elucidate social issues and processes and is particularly suited to institutional practices and how they are changing in response to changing social conditions. Illustrated by two case studies from Australia, it examines the talk between the various participants in a formal stakeholder committee context over five years, during which time they went through several phases of changing power dynamics, conflict and reconciliation. The book demonstrates the value of CDA to this field of research and develops specific techniques and conceptual tools for applying the methodology to the 'formal talk' context of collaborative planning committees. It also sheds light on the dynamics of interaction between 'stakeholders' and bureaucracies - particularly with respect to inherent communicative barriers, power inequalities, and the development of new discursive practices.
'Elegantly written and argued, Diana MacCallum's new work on participatory planning is essential reading for those wishing to understand the cultural dynamics of bureaucratic process in an age of "open government". Her analytical contributions to Applied Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis will no doubt be invaluable to future research.' Philip Graham, Queensland University of Technology, Australia