Enclosure, a historic and contemporary accumulation regime, is part of a global conversation about what resources are, who may use them, and for what purpose. Here, it is suggested that spatial planning extends the practice of enclosure in its approach to land use. This article focuses on Wales's strategy for sustainable development (OPD), which theoretically promotes low-impact developments. Ethnographic research explored how OPD applicants navigate different people and organizations with a stake in the character of land, and how OPD applications are rarely approved. The data reveals a tension between the notions of self-provisioning and planned development, but indicates how activists circumvent and adapt the planning system. This article extends the notion of what counts as accumulation by focusing on the nonproductive value of an unspoiled countryside, a notion central to debates about the production of the countryside as leisure space and the enclosure of nature under global sustainable development regimes.
The ambiguities of nonproductive accumulation in the West Wales countryside
Institutional planning in Kuala Lumpur
This article considers the complexity of contemporary urban life in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, through an analysis of planning and the plan itself as a thing in this environment of multiplicity. It argues that the plan functions as a vehicle for action in the present that does not require a singular vision of the future in order to succeed. Plans in the context of governance and urban development gesture to “the future,” but this gesture does not require “a future” in order to function in a highly effective manner. The evidence presented indicates that the primary effectiveness of the plan largely relates to its status as a virtual object in the present. Such virtual objects (plans) bind subjects to the conditions of the present within the desires and limits asserted by the institutions seeking to dominate contemporary life in the city, but this domination is never absolute, singular, or complete.
Anthropologies of planning—Temporality, imagination, and ethnography
Simone Abram and Gisa Weszkalnys
Recent anthropological approaches to temporality and spatiality can offer particularly important insights into established planning theories. In this introductory essay, we consider planning as a manifestation of what people think is possible and desirable, and what the future promises for the better. We outline how plans can operate as a particular form of promissory note, and explore how plans may be seen to perform a particular kind of work, laying out diverse kinds of conceptual orders while containing a notion of the state as an unfulfilled idea. The task of the ethnographer is to chart the practices, discourses, technologies, and artifacts produced by planning, as well as the gaps that emerge between planning theory and practice. We consider the changing horizons of expectation and the shifting grounds of government in different phases and forms of neoliberalization that are characteristic of planning in the contemporary world.
Tracing the Making of Public Art as Part of Regeneration Practice
A pragmatist study of art in regeneration, this article contributes a nuanced understanding of how art works as an ingredient of regeneration practice. To ameliorate post-industrial decline, commissioning art has become part of the work of the planner. In planning studies art is usually accounted for as completed artworks in relation to socio-economic agendas. But what of the effects produced in their making? Inspired by Actor-Network Theory, by tracing associations between human and non-human actors I reveal art as part of the translation process of regeneration. Drawing on a one-year ethnography of a regeneration office in North East England, I describe how art mediates collaboration with and in planning practice as a catalyst for professionals to re-consider their professional remit anew.
Planning for redress or progress in South Africa
This article explores the contradictory and contested but closely inter- locking efforts of NGOs and the state in planning for land reform in South Africa. As government policy has come increasingly to favor the better-off who are potential commercial farmers, so NGO efforts have been directed, correspondingly, to safeguarding the interests of those conceptualized as poor and dispossessed. The article explores the claim that planned “tenure reform” is the best way to provide secure land rights, especially for laborers residing on white farms; illustrates the complex disputes over this claim arising between state and NGO sectors; and argues that we need to go beyond the concept of “neoliberal governmentality” to understand the relationship between these sectors.
Land dispossession and powerful resistance in Oromia, Ethiopia
Gutu Olana Wayessa
English abstract: Land is a key resource and an epicenter of struggle in Ethiopia, as indicated by the incident that sparked a powerful protest in Oromia in 2015. The protest quickly galvanized against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, which government officials represented as a “development plan,” while the protesters counter-framed it as a “Master Killer,” highlighting the immanent risks of land dispossession and displacement of people. This article employs a political-ecological approach to examine environmental, socio-cultural, and political-economic implications of the Master Plan and the resistance against it as a signifier of wider issues of contestation connected to land and displacement. It highlights contemporary grievances of the Oromo people in relation to unresolved historical questions and outlines the responses of the government to the protest.
Spanish abstract: La tierra es un recurso clave y un epicentro de lucha en Etiopía. En el 2015 surgió una poderosa protesta en Oromia contra el Plan Maestro de Addis Abeba, presentado por el gobierno como un “plan de desarrollo”, mientras que los manifestantes lo enmarcaron como un “Asesino Maestro”, destacando los inminentes riesgos de la desposesión de tierras y el desplazamiento de personas. Este artículo emplea un enfoque político-ecológico para examinar las implicaciones ambientales, socioculturales y político-económicas del Plan Maestro y la resistencia en su contra como resultado de temas más amplios de disputa relacionados con la tierra y el desplazamiento. Destaca las quejas contemporáneas de la gente de Oromo en relación con preguntas históricas no resueltas y describe las respuestas del gobierno a la protesta.
French abstract: La terre est une ressource clef et un motif central de conflit en Éthiopie. Les circonstances actuelles du pays accentuent cette tendance historique. En témoigne la protestation des Oromos contre le Programme Directeur d’Addis-Abeba que les fonctionnaires présentent comme un programme de développement alors que les protestataires le désignent comme “un maître-tueur”, en pointant les risques de dépossession de la terre et de déplacement de populations qui lui sont inhérents. Cet article utilise une approche d’écologie politique pour examiner ses implications dans le sens d’une protestation autour de la terre et du déplacement. Il analyse le programme directeur et la protestation des Oromos dans le cadre des principes idéologiques et structurels du gouvernement, de ses politiques et de ses pratiques.
Ehsan Nouzari, Thomas Hartmann and Tejo Spit
The underground provides many spatial planning opportunities as it offers space for structures, but also functions as a resource for energy. To guide developments and use the capabilities the underground provides, the Dutch national government started a policy process for the Structuurvisie Ondergrond (a master plan). Stakeholders are involved in the policy process because of the many interests linked to underground functions. However, past policy processes related to the underground dealt with lack of stakeholder satisfaction. This article explores a quantitative approach by focusing on (a) statistical testing of four criteria of interactive governance and (b) using said criteria to evaluate the satisfaction of stakeholders in a policy process. This article highlights the usefulness of a more quantitative approach and provides new insights into the relation between interactive governance and the procedural satisfaction of stakeholders. It also provides insights that help to improve interactive governance in terms of process management to achieve greater procedural satisfaction.
Hannah Knox, Damian O'Doherty, Theo Vurdubakis and Chris Westrup
In this article we seek to address 'the experience of work in a global context' by revisiting the relationship between globalisation and information technologies and attributions of local and global effects. We do this through an empirical investigation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, information systems which are purported to enable the institution and the enactment of global business practices. Rather than looking for the metrics that might best demonstrate the shaping influence of global processes upon local work settings - and which would in turn allow talk of such settings becoming more or less globalized - we draw on debates in science and technology studies and in particular the work of Latour in order to re-approach 'the global' as the outcome of a specific set of socio-material knowledge practices. Such an approach allows us to re-situate the analysis of globalization as an emergent, cultural and political phenomenon involving, for example, contestations over the potential and the nature of knowledge, the evaluation of different ways of knowing and the ongoing importance of the embodiment of ideas about the human subject, which we find are being worked out in processes of global (re)organisation.
This article asks whether the Yom Kippur War was avoidable. The intense diplomatic efforts of the 1971-1973 years that are examined include plans and counterplans offered by special United Nations representative Gunnar Jarring, US Secretary of State William Rogers, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The article concludes that since settlement was the method of Israeli state-building and served as the basis of the Labor Movement's hegemony within the Israeli society, once Israel embarked on a settlement project in the Sinai it was unwilling to accept full territorial withdrawal to the borders on 5 June 1967 in return for an Egyptian promise of non-belligerence. At the same time, the US was deterred by its conflicting global and regional interests from exerting pressure on Israel to accept the Egyptian proposal.
On 4 July 2002, the German Bundestag had to decide on the future
of one of the capital city’s principal historical sites: the square known
as the Schlossplatz, where the Hohenzollern Palace once stood but
that since 1976 had been the site of the German Democratic Republic’s
flagship Palace of the Republic. It was not the first time that
German politicians had been called upon to decide issues relating to
art and architecture. On previous occasions votes had been taken on
the wrapping of the Reichstag by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Sir
Norman Foster’s dome, Hans Haacke’s artistic installation “Der
Bevölkerung” inside the Reichstag, and Peter Eisenman’s design for
Berlin’s Holocaust memorial.1 Their decision to rebuild the historical
palace, however, differed in that the politicians did not vote on
an architectural design, “in eigener Sache.”2 That is, it was not a
building or monument belonging to the governmental or political
sphere of the capital city but rather a site likely to house cultural
institutions. Parliamentarians, thus, were called upon to settle a
twelve-year-old planning and architectural controversy after all other
means, including architectural competitions, had failed.