2001 volume 33(5) pages 765 – 781

Cite as:
Sager T, 2001, "Manipulative features of planning styles" Environment and Planning A 33(5) 765 – 781

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Manipulative features of planning styles

Tore Sager

Received 9 February 2000; in revised form 24 January 2001

Abstract. This paper identifies features of well-known plannin modes affecting the likelihood of manipulation. Results from social choice theory and the economic theory of organisation help to explain why certain combinations of planning styles and organisational characteristics stimulate or hamper manipulation. Although the planning process can be rigged in many ways, false revelation of preferences and strategic agenda formation are primarily studied here. When each decisionmaker can rank the alternatives any way he or she wants, the Gibbard - Satterthwaite theorem states that manipulation-free procedures for making recommendations do not exist unless cyclical decisions or high concentrations of power are accepted. In general, a low probability of cyclical recommendations and a strong organisational bias favouring certain interests and alternatives reduce the likelihood of successful manipulation. It is argued that these conditions are present particularly in advocacy planning and -- perhaps counterintuitively -- to some extent in disjointed incrementalism.

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