Conceptualizing the Co-Existence of Formal and Informal Institutions Within Planning
The background to this study is addressing how formal and informal institutions might intersect in planning. This article has at its aim addressing not only the effects that formal and/or informal institutions have but also how both shape each other. In fulfilling this aim, analysis in this study adopts qualitative research methods, including qualitative interviewing, direct observation and archival records, which are applied to the Nicosia Master Plan that is considered in this study as a particular case study because it arguably helps this study to fulfill its aims. The perspective of formal/informal ‘dialectics’, marked by a ‘mutual-shaping’ exercise, is applied to this case study. Its application reveals several arguments as follow. First, formal institutions are found in this study to be blocked from mobilizing any development, however, remain the key determinant. The second argument concerns informal institutions that have been found to adopt strategies capable of mobilizing development, nevertheless, these strategies could not obviate the central role of formal institutions. Thirdly, formal institutions formalize informal institutions by ‘absorbing’ the latter into their hierarchy while equally denying any degree of autonomy, nor a role assigned, to informal institutions. Altogether, the findings revealed in this study stress the importance of the political and economic contexts of power that are key to how the formal/informal ‘dialectics’ occur.
Conceptualizing the Co-Existence of Formal and Informal Institutions Within Planning, Urban and Regional Planning.
Vol. 3, No. 3,
2018, pp. 80-91.
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