Ideology, Statecraft and the ‘Double Shuffle’ of Conservative Planning Reform in England

Edward Shepherd, Andy Inch, John Sturzaker, Tim Marshall

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This article explores the political implications of conflicts over new housebuilding for Conservative-led governments in England since 2010. Revisiting debates about the tensions between neoliberal and more collectivist traditions within the political ideology of the Conservative Party, we argue that rather than blocking change this internal conflict should be seen as a dynamic part of the politics of planning. This leads us to propose that Conservative planning reforms have been characterised by a distinctive ‘double shuffle’ through which the party has sought to progress neoliberalising reforms whilst managing these tensions and seeking to maintain their hold on power through statecraft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-174
Number of pages24
JournalTown Planning Review (TPR)
Issue number2
Early online date7 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • England
  • housebuilding
  • ideology
  • planning reform
  • politics


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