Formal/Informal Dialectics and the Self-Transformation of Spatial Planning Systems: An Exploration

K.A.M. van Assche, R. Beunen, M. Duineveld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we present a perspective on the interaction between formal and informal institutions in spatial planning in which they transform each other continuously, in processes that can be described and analyzed as ongoing reinterpretations. The effects of configurations and dialectics are often ambiguous, only partially observable, different in different domains and at different times. By means of analyses of key concepts in planning theory and practice, this perspective is illustrated and developed. Finally, we analyze transformation options in pla-ning systems, emphasizing the limits of formal institutions in transforming formal/informal configurations, and stressing the importance of judgment and conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-683
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • danube delta
  • institutions
  • governance
  • informality
  • management
  • property
  • participation
  • subcultures
  • insurgence
  • capacity

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