Planners in Politics
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Planners in Politics

Do they Make a Difference?

Edited by Louis Albrechts

In this innovative book, ten executive politicians with backgrounds in planning from around the world dissect their own political careers. Reflecting on the often structural impact of their work in political decision-making, they also consider the translation of their experiences back into academic life or professional practice.
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Chapter 10: Forty years as a politician with a background in planning. How did this affect me as politician and as a planner?

Aksel Hagen


For more than 40 years, I have dual tasked by working in planning and politics at the same time. I have served for more than 20 years as an elected representative at all three levels of government in Norway. I have been a planner for about 30 years – as a student of planning, a community planner and an associate professor of public planning. I have become increasingly convinced that both my planning theory position and my view of planning in practice are strongly influenced by experiences from my political work. I am equally convinced that the planner in me has been visible in my work as a politician. My knowledge, perception and experience of planning – as a practitioner, teacher and researcher – has shaped me as a politician and undoubtedly influenced my political work. The question is how. I present some tentative answers here in this chapter.

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