1st Edition

Public Norms and Aspirations The Turn to Institutions in Action

By Willem Salet Copyright 2018
    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    The aspirations of individuals, organizations, and states, and their perceptions of problems and possible solutions circulate fast in this instantaneous society. Yet, the deliberation of the underlying public norms seems to escape the attention of the public. Institutions enable people to have reliable expectations of one another even when they are unsure of each other's aspirations and purposes. Public norms enable people to act under conditions of increasing uncertainty. To fulfill this role in society, institutions need enhancement, maintenance, and innovation.  

    Public Norms and Aspirations aims to improve the methodology of planning research and practice by exploring the co-evolution of institutional innovation and the philosophy of pragmatism in processes of action. As most attention in planning research and planning practices goes to the pragmatic approaches of aspirations and problem solving, the field is awaiting an upgrade of institutional perspectives. This book aims to explore the interaction of institutional and pragmatic thought and to suggest how these two approaches might be integrated and applied in successful planning research. Searching this combination at the interface of sociology, planning, and law, Salet opens a unique niche in the existing planning literature.

    Preface. Foreword. Chapter 1. The Evaporation of Institutions Chapter 2. Public Norms and Aspirations: The Precursors Chapter 3. Legitimacy in Action: The Logic of Pragmatism and Institutional Legality Chapter 4. How to Investigate Institutions? The Relevance of Paradigm Chapter 5. Five Paradigms of Institutional Planning Research Chapter 6. Institutions in Action: The Changing City-Region


    Willem Salet is Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He chaired the group Urban Planning until 2017. He was the Scientific Director of Amsterdam study center for the Metropolitan Environment (AME) 2008-2013. He was the President of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) 2008-2010 and was awarded Honorary Membership of AESOP in 2016.

    "With a deep understanding of planning and governance developed in his longstanding career as an engaged scholar, Salet draws upon various literatures––philosophy, sociology, juridical studies, political science––to improve
    planning research methodology, deploying an institutionalist perspective grounded in the pragmatics of urban development and governance. In six chapters, he crafts an original and challenging discussion weaving together two distinct intellectual traditions––institutionalism and pragmatism––to understand how institutions shape and legitimize planning action, and provide it with aspiration and purpose." –Laura Lieto, Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR)

    "Although various useful building blocks for an institutionalist approach in planning have recently been provided by some scholars, no substantial ‘institutional turn’ has yet taken place in this field. With this book Salet embarks on a superb venture to fuel this indispensable turn, both by developing a robust and innovative theoretical framework on institutions, and by brilliantly showing the practical relevance of a new outlook on their meaning and role." Stefano Moroni, Polytechnic University of Milano, Italy

    "This book is a timely and well-grounded challenge to urban researchers and policy-makers to give more attention to the evolving institutions which shape urban governance practices and their interaction with the specific pragmatics of urban development projects and management." Patsy Healey, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK