Chapter 1: The challenge to make a difference
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Starting from an earlier project on decision-making in planning through a project focused on understanding the power dynamics of the wider political context for the same project, I found some similarities and differences in approach from other authors dealing with these issues in research projects. These research projects made me understand that political decision-making has its own logic, and it relies on arenas with specific actors. Could this logic be influenced by the specific expertise of a minister/executive politician? Does the intellectual background, the practical experience, the epistemological basis, a past of direct engagement of a minister, mayor or vice mayor have an impact on her/his functioning? I started to wonder whether and how, in one way or the other, an executive politician with a background in planning could benefit from this background. So I invited 10 (ex)-politicians with a background in planning to tell their stories in their own words.

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