Journal article

The case for a southern perspective in planning theory.

Watson, V. 2014. The case for a southern perspective in planning theory. International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR), 3(1), 23-37.

In a number of disciplines scholars are questioning the relevance of theoretical positions which claim general and global applicability, yet are grounded in assumptions about social and material conditions which are more specific to a global North context. This paper focuses on the recent interest in urban planning theory to develop explanatory and normative theory that directly addresses the problems and issues of cities in the global South. It suggests a number of starting assumptions, very different from those that inform much current planning theory, which need to inspire the development of planning thought with a global South orientation. These are illustrated through an example of state-society conflict in an informal settlement. While there is certainly a case for developing a global south perspective in planning theory, it is also important to specify the limitations on such an exercise to avoid the trap of creating new theoretical binaries