Rationalising a decision - Analysing the development of a tramway in Lund
Sammanfattning: This thesis aim is to study the planning documents for the tramway in Lund from a perspective of power and rationality. The empirical material used has been studied using critical discourse analysis, departing from the ideas of Fairclough (2010), Winther Jørgensen and Philips (2000) and Watt Bolsen (2007). The discourse analysis resulted in four themes that were predominant in the empirical material. These themes are passenger attraction, economic rationalities, prognosis and attractive urban environment. These are used as the base for the analysis of power and rationality.The analysis of power and rationality depart from a Foucauldian perspective of power. The main perspective used in this thesis is inspired by Flyvbjerg’s (1998) ten propositions of the relation between power and rationality. Where power influence rationality and rationality is embedded by power. The relation between power and rationality is according to Flyvbjerg asymmetrical, and when rationality and reason are confronted, reason yields to power (Flyvbjerg, 1998, p. 228ff). The findings of the analysis of power and rationality present examples from the empirical material where power seeks to define knowledge and reality, as well as examples of powers strategy to blur the line between rationality and rationalisation. This view on the strategies, operations and rationalities of power are also shared by scholars such as Richardson (2004) and Fox-Rogers and Murphy (2014). The ambition of the analysis of power and rationality is not to find out a ‘what’ but to understand ‘how’ power and rationality is presented in the planning documents related to the development of a tramway in Lund. Finally, this thesis discusses the findings from both the discourse analysis as well as the analysis of rationality and power from a wider social perspective. Placing the findings of the discourse analysis into a societal and institutional process, as well as arguing for other rationalities than the one found in the analysis of power and rationality to be valued more in the planning process.
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