University of Oulu

Sari Puustinen, Raine Mäntysalo, Jonne Hytönen & Karoliina Jarenko (2017) The “deliberative bureaucrat”: deliberative democracy and institutional trust in the jurisdiction of the Finnish planner, Planning Theory & Practice, 18:1, 71-88, DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2016.1245437

The “deliberative bureaucrat” : deliberative democracy and institutional trust in the jurisdiction of the Finnish planner

Saved in:
Author: Puustinen, Sari1; Mäntysalo, Raine2; Hytönen, Jonne3;
Organizations: 1Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
2Department of Built Environment, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland
3Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-09-12


This article seeks to elaborate on Forester’s notion of the planner as a “deliberative practitioner”, aiming to add sensitivity to the institutional conditions of planning, focusing especially on Finland. In terms of trust, the concept of deliberative practitioner mostly focuses on interpersonal trust as a planner’s resource in mediating particular interests. Thereby, when applied to the Finnish context, institutional trust may be undermined as a key resource for the Finnish planner’s jurisdiction, justifying his/her proactive role and authority in bringing broader concerns to the planning agenda. This undermining prevents the acknowledgement of important institutional resources that the Finnish planner has in coping with the tensions between communicative ideals and neoliberal realities. A more context-sensitive and institutionally responsive theory of communicative planning is needed to help the planning professionals and other stakeholders conceive the deliberative ideals as supportive for the planners’ institutionally strong agency. Hence, the notion of the “deliberative bureaucrat”. The article seeks to develop an outline for such a theory by drawing upon studies of legal culture, the sociology of professions, deliberative democracy theory and the concept of trust.

see all

Series: Planning theory & practice
ISSN: 1464-9357
ISSN-E: 1470-000X
ISSN-L: 1464-9357
Volume: 18
Issue: 1
Pages: 71 - 88
DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2016.1245437
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland [138759 and 288848].
Copyright information: © 2016 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Planning Theory & Practice on 18 Nov 2016, available online: