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Dr Matthew Wargent

British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Matthew Wargent 75ncjvia1

Specialisms

  • Public participation, 
  • Urban planning, 
  • Local governance, localism, 
  • Power

Location

EM 168, Whiteknights Campus

Matthew is a researcher in urban governance and planning. He is interested in democratic decision-making and the increasing range of actors drawn into the governance of urban space. Recent research has explored public participation and the UK localism agenda, particularly community involvement in the development process through neighbourhood planning.

Matthew's current research concerns the production of local development plans. This explores the relations of rationality and power in planning through a consideration of how evidence is created, interpreted and deployed within plan-making. Further recent projects have explored the role of consultants in the creation of urban policy, and the effect of organisational structures on planners' agency.

Before joining the University of Reading in 2018, Matthew held research posts at the University of Sheffield and University College London.

Qualifications

  • PhD Sociology, University of Sheffield
  • MA Sociology and Management, University of Essex
  • BA (Hons) Social Policy and Sociology, University of Sheffield

Recent conference papers

‘Local governance and the private sector: the role of consultants in the English planning system’, paper presented to Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, Washington D.C., 4 April 2019.

Reference: Bates, L., Parker, G. , Wargent, M. , Linovski, O., Schoneboom, A., Gunn, S., Slade, D., Odeleye, N.-D., Maidment, C. , Shepherd, E. , Doak, J. , Elliot, T., Nicholls, V. , Street, E. , Dobson, M. , Platts, S. and Tasan-Kok, T. (2020) The future of the planning profession. Planning Theory & Practice, 21 (3). pp. 453-480. ISSN 1464-9357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2020.1776014
Reference: Parker, G. , Wargent, M. and Street, E. (2020) ‘planning by gaslight’– on reforms, skills and political work in planning. Town and Country Planning. ISSN 0040-9960 (In Press)
Reference: Parker, G. , Wargent, M. , Salter, K., Dobson, M. , Lynn, T. and Yuille, A., (2020) Impacts of neighbourhood planning in England. Report. University of Reading, London.
Reference: Wargent, M. and Talen, E. (2021) Rethinking neighbourhoods. Town Planning Review, 92 (1). pp. 89-95. ISSN 1478-341X doi: https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2020.43
Reference: Wargent, M. (2020) Localism, governmentality and failing technologies: the case of neighbourhood planning in England. Territory, Politics, Governance. ISSN 2162-268X doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/21622671.2020.1737209
Reference: Wargent, M. , Parker, G. and Street, E. (2019) Public-private entanglements: consultant use by local planning authorities in England. European Planning Studies, 28 (1). pp. 192-210. ISSN 1469-5944 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2019.1677565
Reference: Wargent, M. , Parker, G. and Street, E. (2020) Private expertise and the spatial reorganisation of planning in England. In: Jonas, A., Koch, N., Lizotte, C., Luukkonen, J. and Moisio, S. (eds.) Handbook of the Changing Geographies of the State. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. ISBN 9781788978040
Reference: Parker, G. , Street, E. and Wargent, M. (2019) Advocates, advisors and scrutineers: the technocracies of private sector planning in England. In: Raco, M. and Savini, F. (eds.) Planning and Knowledge: How New Forms of Technocracy are Shaping Contemporary Cities. Policy Press, Bristol. ISBN 9781447345244
Reference: Parker, G. , Street, E. and Wargent, M. (2018) The rise of the private sector in fragmentary planning in England. Planning Theory and Practice, 19 (5). pp. 734-750. ISSN 1464-9357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2018.1532529
Reference: Parker, G. , Salter, K. and Wargent, M. (2019) Neighbourhood planning in practice. Lund Humphries, London. ISBN 9781848222830
Reference: Wargent, M. and Parker, G. (2018) Re-imagining neighbourhood governance: the future of neighbourhood planning in England. Town Planning Review, 89 (4). pp. 379-402. ISSN 1478-341X doi: https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2018.23
Reference: Parker, G. and Wargent, M. , (2017) Participant experience of neighbourhood planning in England. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 01/17. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp20.
Reference: Parker, G. , Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. (2017) Contestation and conservatism in neighbourhood planning in England. Reconciling agonism and collaboration? Planning Theory and Practice, 18 (3). pp. 446-465. ISSN 1464-9357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2017.1316514
Reference: Parker, G. , Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. (2015) Sticking to the script? The co-production of Neighbourhood Planning in England. Town Planning Review, 86 (5). pp. 519-536. ISSN 1478-341X doi: https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2015.31
Reference: Parker, G. , Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. , (2014) User experience of neighbourhood planning in England. Report. Locality, London.

Most recent news & media

Generating Effective Planning Cultures. David Robins Research Fund (£10,615), Co-Investigator, 2019-2020.

Impact of Neighbourhood Planning in England. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (£63,039.50), Co-Investigator, 2019-2020.

The Politics of Private Sector Provision in Local Governance. British Academy (£269,940.60), Principal Investigator, 2018-2021.

Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement, Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Research Excellence, 2019