Quotation Metzger, Jonathan, Allmendinger, Phil, Kornberger, Martin. 2021. Ideology in practice: the career of sustainability as an ideological concept in strategic urban planning. International Planning Studies. 26 (3), 302-320.




This paper presents an approach for analysing ideology dynamics in strategic urban planning based on post-foundational political theory. Drawing on empirical material of strategic planners discussing their usage of the concept of sustainability it is suggested that although planners generally consider themselves to be pragmatic problem-solvers, it is exactly in their efforts to ‘get things done’ that they become deeply embroiled in the social dynamics of ideology. The reason for this is that planners are forced to employ ideologically charged concepts to bring together the disparate coalitions of actors that are needed for generating any form of policy traction in fractured governance landscapes. However, the ideological utilization of a concept contributes not only to the reproduction of hegemonic relations but also to a consequent hollowing out of the concept whereby its meaning becomes increasingly diluted, leading to its eventual demise and replacement.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal International Planning Studies
Language English
Title Ideology in practice: the career of sustainability as an ideological concept in strategic urban planning
Volume 26
Number 3
Year 2021
Page from 302
Page to 320
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563475.2020.1839390
Open Access Y
Open Access Link http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563475.2020.1839390


Kornberger, Martin (Details)
Allmendinger, Phil (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Metzger, Jonathan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance FI (Details)
Institute for Organization Studies IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2959 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
5610 Urban development planning (Details)
Google Scholar: Search