Journal Article

Urban development and the politics of dissonance


A major reason for the peripheral treatment of political conflict in established theories of urban development derives from the tendency to underplay questions of territory and spatial governance. In this paper we examine the implications of territorial discrepancy amongst governance arrangements and introduce the notion of ‘urban political dissonance’ in order to engage sustained patterns of conflict or incongruity. This focus implies examination of strategic action on the part of competing urban interests which may result in policy incoherence, institutional manoeuvring in pursuit of divergent objectives, and difficulties in finding workable compromise, with potentially significant implications for economic development outcomes. An illustrative case study is presented of growth politics in Oxford, U.K., where a central and unresolved dilemma over the physical expansion of the city has effectively defined the nature of development politics for a generation, leading to ongoing political conflict and policy incongruity.

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Phelps, N
Valler, D

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2016
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-06-13

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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