Professional Lobbying in Urban Planning : Publicity Management and Transparency Discourse on a Collision Course?

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Abstract

This article examines professional lobbying in urban planning and the related decision-making process, as perceived by lobbyists, planners, and politicians in Finland. The implications as to the transparency of planning are particularly discussed. Transparency is generally considered a key value of public governance under democratic control, while for professional lobbying a key asset is its ability to manage transparency and publicity. Examining lobbying in planning complements the picture of planning transparency, the deficiency of which has been identified as a problem of democracy. The prevailing transparency discourse appears to oppose the practices of publicity management, but does it produce only ostensible improvements to planning democracy? The emerging picture of planning transparency suggests that transparency, and thus democratic practices, play a smaller role in the legitimacy in planning than generally thought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalPlanning Theory and Practice
Volume23
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Local politics
  • decision-making
  • informal influencing
  • public affairs consultant
  • Helsinki

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