David Robert Howarth

David Robert Howarth
University of Essex · Department of Government

PhD

About

120
Publications
67,090
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3,288
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1998 - present
University of Essex
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 1995 - August 1998
Staffordshire University
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (120)
Chapter
Chapter 1 focuses on how the eight cities encountered, worked with and against austerity in the period after the GEC. It begins by providing a flavour of the histories and traditions which contribute to explaining how austerity was experienced and mediated. It then turns to a discussion of Athens, Baltimore, Dublin, Leicester and Montréal, where mo...
Chapter
The research shows that in some ways, the age of austerity vindicated critiques of “collaborative governance” as a medium of governmental control or “responsibilisation”. State-driven collaboration in the face of harsh austerity proved to be gestural, shallow and transient or reinforced the power of elites. However, in the wider sense of “who does...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the way that (neoliberal) austerity has impacted social, racial and cultural inequalities and the ability of collaboration to support more inclusive democratic cities or resist exclusions. The basic premise is that cities play a fundamental role in the dynamics of social inclusion or exclusion of economic migrants and other r...
Chapter
This chapter critically assesses the forms of social and political resistance that emerged across the eight cities in our study. Building on themes introduced in chapters 1 and 2, it argues that cities serve as crucibles for a diverse set of political contestations, responses and initiatives, but they exhibit differential capacities to shape their...
Book
The 2008-2009 Global Economic Crisis (GEC) created an opportunity, eagerly seized by many national governments and international organisations, to impose a prolonged, and widespread period of austerity. Austerity is widely recognised to have done enormous damage to social, cultural, political and economic infrastructures in cities and larger urban...
Chapter
This chapter seeks to better understand how austerity governance has been experienced in the eight cities, from the perspective of the local state. The chapter is divided into three parts. First, we consider literature on the local state and governance to frame contemporary changes in structure and function. Second, returning to the economic crisis...
Chapter
From the basis of multiple definitions and mixed practices of collaborative governance, this chapter explores trends found through the comparative study of our eight cities, in the decade after the GEC. We aim to examine the impact of austerity on localised collaborative structures of policymaking. Specifically, the chapter elaborates three dimensi...
Chapter
Our research concluded some time before the outbreak of COVID-19, but we suggest that many of the insights drawn from it, about austerity and collaboration, will be useful in considering ways forward from the pandemic. In the first instance, it seems clear that austerity made COVID-19 an iniquitous disease, with cities and urban peripheries the hea...
Chapter
In this chapter, we show how the study of scale is enlightening when trying to understand how austerity has functioned in our eight case study cities. In order to put forth a clear definition of how we use the concept, we also propose a definition of scale and promote a synthetic and multi-faceted definition such as the one suggested by Byron Mille...
Book
Presenting the findings of a major Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project into urban austerity governance in eight cities across the world, this book offers comparative reflections on the myriad experiences of collaborative governance and its limitations.
Article
Introduction Economic migration flows, accelerated by globalization, have substantially increased the cultural and ethnic diversity of Western societies with high GDP economies. As a large part of these migration flows are motivated by the aspirations of those living in the Global South, or the majority world, to improve their living conditions in...
Article
Presenting the findings of a major Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project into urban austerity governance in eight cities across the world, this book offers comparative reflections on the myriad experiences of collaborative governance and its limitations.
Article
Our research concluded some time before the outbreak of COVID-19, but we suggest that many of the insights drawn from it, about austerity and collaboration, will be useful in considering ways forward from the pandemic. In the first instance, it seems clear that austerity made COVID-19 an even more iniquitous disease than it would in any case have b...
Article
Presenting the findings of a major Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project into urban austerity governance in eight cities across the world, this book offers comparative reflections on the myriad experiences of collaborative governance and its limitations.
Article
Our book details and documents the impact of austerity governance on a selection of cities. Yet for some commentators, cities and urban spaces remain the ‘new theatres of struggle’ in our contemporary condition (Hamel, 2014). This chapter critically assesses the forms of social and political resistance that emerged across the eight cities in our st...
Article
Introduction As the introductory chapter explained, collaboration was popularized as an idea across much of the globe in the 1990s and 2000s, including the Global South, and was considerably influenced by international actors and donor non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as ideas circulating through nation states about modernizing public...
Article
Chapter 1 focuses on how the eight cities encountered, worked with and against austerity in the period after the GEC. It begins by providing a flavour of the histories and traditions which contribute to explaining how austerity was experienced and mediated. It then turns to a discussion of Athens, Baltimore, Dublin, Leicester and Montréal, where mo...
Article
Introduction The reality of austerity in our eight case study cities and elsewhere has been strongly shaped by a phenomenon, long studied by geographers and recognized across the social sciences as well as by practitioners in policy making, politics and activism: social, political and institutional spaces are structured through a hierarchy of spati...
Article
This chapter seeks to better understand how austerity governance has been experienced in the eight cities, from the perspective of the local state. As earlier chapters demonstrate, austerity governance is a real challenge for cities and local states, which can often have competing priorities and imperatives. This is because traditionally, local man...
Article
A central message emerging from the volume is that while austerity may sometimes be instrumentally rational for profit-seeking corporations and governments wanting to position their countries as low-regulation, low-cost capital havens, it is always a political choice and never a necessity. It is invariably a disaster from the standpoint of equality...
Article
Set against theoretical and strategic debates about theories of radical democracy, left populism and the commons, this article analyses and evaluates everyday struggles in Greek politics after the global financial crisis. It focusses on the cases of Vio.Me – the first workers’ recuperated factory in Greece – and the Metropolitan Community Clinic at...
Article
Logics of Critical Explanation proposed a methodological approach that could render the insights of Poststructuralist Discourse Theory (PDT) and post-Marxist political theory more conducive to critical empirical research. It also offered a language with which to counter positivist tendencies to colonize the space of methods and research strategies,...
Article
Full-text available
A critique of Alex Stevens' article on Critical Realism and the Ontological Politics of Drug Policy from a poststructuralist discourse theory (PDT) perspective.
Article
Calls for councillors to change are nothing new, even from staunch defenders of local democracy. But one critical question has been sidestepped: Why have councillors been persistently constructed as a ‘problem’ for local government? This article draws upon Foucault to detect the emergence and sedimentation of an overriding problematisation of counc...
Chapter
This chapter evaluates the failed efforts of the Airports Commission to depoliticise UK aviation policy. Articulating the insights of post-structuralist policy analysis, it surfaces the discursive and rhetorical tropes deployed by the Commission, notably the depoliticising genre of expertise and the performance of authority by its chair, Howard Dav...
Article
This article characterizes and evaluates a paradigm case of urban collaborative governance: the so-called Nantes model. Stressing its positioning in the particular tradition of French politics and drawing on poststructuralist discourse theory, this article demonstrates how the myth of the jeu à la Nantaise (the Nantes game) informs a discourse of u...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter argues that the concept of retroduction, as distinct from induction and deduction, can be developed to frame the methodological implications of anti-essentialist approaches to social science research. Although prominent in debates over how best to understand the production of theories in the natural sciences, the concept of retroductio...
Article
Aviation expansion and the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport is firmly back on the political agenda. Yet, the stark fact remains that a growing list of British governments has been unable to engineer a partial or temporary policy settlement in aviation. In exploring the challenges of reaching such a settlement, this article charact...
Article
This article assesses the character, role and outcomes of the Airports Commission. Analysing its workings from September 2012, it evaluates the final recommendations and then charts their subsequent public reception. The article claims that the Airports Commission's endeavours to depoliticise aviation by using ‘reasonable’ methods and impartial jud...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing recognition that marine spatial planning is an inherently political process marked by a clash of discourses, power and conflicts of interest. Yet, there are very few attempts to make sense of and explain the political practices of marine spatial planning protests in different contexts, especially the way that planners and developer...
Article
This article argues that ‘post-Marxist’ or ‘poststructuralist discourse theory’ represents a complex deconstruction of the Marxist tradition of social and political theory. Focussing on three ontological positions in Marx’s texts – the ontologies of human alienation, praxis, and production – the article shows how this approach repeats and transform...
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Full-text available
For many, shifting economic and social contexts have created the conditions for a radical reappraisal of the orthodox image of the 'sustainable city'. However, in assessing such potentialities, there is insufficient knowledge about the way in which local actors construct, live out and are gripped by this signifier. This article responds to this def...
Article
Building on the work of Laclau and Mouffe and others, this article develops a distinctively poststructuralist approach to the analysis of policy discourse in the field of environmental politics. Despite advances, there remain persistent critiques of the approach. Some claim that its theoretical assumptions are either too ideational or insufficientl...
Chapter
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Article
Full-text available
It is often alleged that post-structuralist discourse theory suffers from a methodological and a normative deficit, making it unable to either explain or criticize and evaluate the policy practices and regimes it investigates. We challenge such claims, arguing instead that post-structuralist discourse theory is both explanatory and critical. We beg...
Chapter
Antonio Gramsci’s rich reflections on the concepts of hegemony, ideology and political strategy have provided much inspiration for social theorists and analysts working in various traditions and fields.1 The latter include developments in international political economy, cultural studies, sociology, organization theory, literary theory and politica...
Book
Ernesto Laclau has blazed a unique trail in political theory and philosophy since the early 1970s. In so doing, he has articulated a range of philosophical and theoretical currents into a coherent alternative to mainstream models and practices of conducting social and political science. The editors have focused on work in three key areas: Post-Marx...
Chapter
PurposeThis chapter examines the torsions and blind spots that structure the contemporary debate on the politics and policy of aviation. It also generates different scenarios for the future of air travel, which can help to unblock the current impasse about the perceived costs and benefits of aviation and its attendant infrastructural needs. Origina...
Book
This book articulates the key theoretical assumptions of poststructuralism, but also probes its limits, evaluates rival approaches and elaborates new concepts. Building on the work of Derrida, Foucault, Heidegger, Lacan, Laclau, Lévi-Strauss, Marx, Saussure and Žižek, the book also provides a distinctive version of the poststructuralist project.
Article
In 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition placed a moratorium on airport expansion in the south-east of England. In office, however, it has faced a sustained political campaign from supporters of the aviation industry and expansion, leading to the appointment in September 2012 of the Davies Commission on airport capacity. This paper crit...
Chapter
This chapter explores the discursive processes and practices that enabled the reframing of aviation in the first decade of the new century. It analyses how the repeated public interventions of scientists and experts in aviation policy paved the way for the collapse of the fantasmatic narrative of ‘sustainable aviation.’ In particular, it demonstrat...
Chapter
This chapter constructs a genealogical narrative of post-war British aviation by delineating the social, political and fantasmatic logics that worked together to forge and prolong the contradictory regime of aviation expansion. Analysing in particular the predominance of Heathrow, the deregulation, liberalisation and privatisations of the 1990s, an...
Chapter
This chapter analyses the discourse and rhetoric of New Labour's proposals for airport expansion. It explores the 2003 Air Transport White Paper as a specific genre of political communication, examining its framing and underlying problematisation of aviation policy. It thus demonstrates how New Labour envisaged aviation expansion as an ‘inevitable’...
Chapter
This chapter accounts for the successful campaign against proposals for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow airport. It argues that local campaigners engaged in a transformative campaign, equating anti-airport struggles to opposition to air travel and to climate change, and linking local campaigns with direct action protests, in particula...
Chapter
Upon its arrival in office in 1997, the New Labour government opened a national consultation on airport capacity. This chapter analyses the politics of this consultation process leading to the publication of New Labour's White Paper in 2003. It argues that the government's efforts to broker a long-term settlement between rival stakeholders backfire...
Chapter
This chapter explores the current aviation policy impasse and emergent discourses about the future of air travel. Reappraising traditional models of the British state, it focuses upon five interrelated factors that account for the policy shift in aviation: the formation of the Coalition, the transformation of the Conservative Party, the role of sci...
Chapter
This chapter demonstrates how poststructuralist discourse theory, when articulated with elements of critical discourse analysis and rhetorical political analysis, contributes important tools and concepts to critical policy studies. Drawing on Laclau, Derrida and others, it first establishes the ontological assumptions of poststructuralist discourse...
Chapter
This chapter investigates the various paradoxes and contradictions surrounding the regime of aviation expansion in post-war Britain. It engages in a detailed problematisation of the UK aviation industry and its attendant practices and infrastructure requirements. In so doing, it elaborates on the concept of problematisation, building inter alia on...
Chapter
The deconstruction of the simple structuralist and voluntarist perspectives in the previous chapter, coupled with the problematization of the dialectical perspectives of Giddens and Bhaskar, furnishes vital starting points, as well as certain theoretical resources, to address the problem of structure and agency. But it also discloses a number of co...
Chapter
Beginning with the idea that all socio-symbolic orders are marked by a radical contingency that becomes visible in moments of crisis or dislocation, the previous chapter developed a dynamic model of structure and agency to explore the change and sustenance of social practices and systems. Such a model is predicated on the idea that the paradox of s...
Chapter
Poststructuralist philosophy has attracted considerable critique from many perspectives. Rationalists, neo-conservatives, liberals, Marxists, critical theorists of the Frankfurt School, proponents of hermeneutics, structuration theory, and critical theory, and even some Lacanians have raised serious objections about different aspects of its ontolog...
Chapter
Chapters 5 and 6 put forward a poststructuralist critique and reconstruction of the structure-agency problematic and spelled out its implications for the understanding of affect, power, and domination. Chapter 5 questioned and then radicalized those perspectives that have sought to transcend the privileging of either structure or agency, and I set...
Chapter
Since I was approached to write Poststructuralism and After, sometime towards the end of the last century, there has been a growing feeling that the position of ‘Theory’ (usually spelt with a capital ‘T’) in the humanities and social sciences — and poststructuralism or postmodernism is widely regarded as the epitome of ‘high theory’ — has undergone...
Chapter
The complex relationship between structure and agency is a perennial, if not intractable problem in modern social theory. The problem is reasonably simple to state, but not that easy to resolve. It is well captured by Marx, for example, when he prepares the ground to explain the causes and consequences of Louis Bonaparte’s dictatorship in France du...
Chapter
A striking feature of much contemporary social and political theory is its concern with ontology. Indeed, as I argued in the previous chapter, the poststructuralist style of theorizing is rooted in a particular set of ontological commitments. Yet the turn to ontology is far from uncontroversial. Many social scientists consider ontological questions...
Chapter
The main aim of this book is to explore the way poststructuralists endeavour to problematize and resolve some key dilemmas in modern social and political theory. But to address these challenges I need first to flesh out my conception of the poststructuralist style of theorizing. This requires an engagement with the founder of the structuralist prob...
Article
In recent years, air travel has become increasingly associated in the public domain with a set of negative externalities and frustrations. Where once airports were the symbolic gateways to freedom, modernity and greater economic growth, today they are synonymous with global warming, noise and air pollution, congestion, security checks and delays. S...
Article
This paper challenges the drawing of explicit boundaries between discourse and practice. Reflecting on the intricacies of practice and meaning, it begins by recounting the 'story' of the national evaluation of the Well Being Power and the myriad of ways in which local practitioners interpreted its use. It then draws on political discourse theory to...
Article
This article is closed access until February 2012. It was accepted for publication in the journal, Mobilities [© Taylor and Francis]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2011.532650 The unprecedented and recurrent closure of much of UK and northern European airspace from 14 April 2010, following the eruption o...
Article
In this article, I argue that power and hegemony are vital for critically explaining a range of policymaking practices. Developing the basic assumptions of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's poststructuralist discourse theory, in which discourse is understood as an articulatory practice, I first elaborate the concept of power in relation to the wo...
Article
Proposed plans to build or expand large infrastructure projects such as airports, motorways or housing developments are often sites of intense political contestation and conflict management. This article explores the intersection between environmental planning processes and political practices by analysing the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) campaign...
Article
This article explores William Connolly's call for a pluralist ethos and a politics of becoming as an antidote to the current malaise of liberal democratic governance. Evaluating Connolly's theoretical approach alongside Ernesto Laclau's logic of populism and Chantal Mouffe's advocacy of agonistic pluralism, it endeavours to synthesise these various...
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Full-text available
This article evaluates Mark Bevir and Rod Rhodes' interpretive approach to political analysis by examining their account of social change. Their work is significant because they have endeavoured to construct a distinctive approach which strikes a productive balance between philosophical reflection and analytical attention to the empirical domain. M...
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Full-text available
The terms critical and explanation are more often than not separated out in contemporary and modern conceptions of philosophy and (social) science. Kant's critical project drew a sharp line between theoretical and practical reason-between the domains of knowledge and morality-and positivists have strengthened the split between questions of fact and...
Article
This book proposes a novel approach to practising social and political analysis based on the role of logics. The authors articulate a distinctive perspective on social science explanation that avoids the problems of scientism and subjectivism by steering a careful course between lawlike explanations and thick descriptions. Drawing upon hermeneutics...
Chapter
It is often alleged that governance networks offer policy actors an efficient practice of social coordination, which has the potential to be more inclusive of multiple stakeholders and more negotiated than its hierarchical or market alternatives (Kickert et al. 1997; Kooiman 2003; Koppenjan & Klijn 2004; Pierre 2000; Rhodes 1997a, 2000b; Stoker 199...
Article
This article investigates the dynamics of current aviation policy in Britain by examining the consultation process surrounding the New Labour government's 2003 strategic plan to expand airport capacity in the UK. It examines the way in which the Freedom to Fly coalition structured the terrain of public reasoning and debate so as to negate or at lea...
Article
This article questions the more exaggerated claims of a freestanding “spatial heuristic” in explaining, justifying and criticizing social practices, not least because the category of space remains undertheorized and conceptually indeterminate. Building upon the work of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, Ernesto Laclau, and others,...
Article
Post-Marxist discourse theory, which is a research program rather than an empirical study, focuses on the application of discourse theory on empirical objects of investigation. This program centers on the idea that all objects and practices are meaningful, and that social meanings are contextual, relational, and contingent. It consists of a system...
Chapter
Methodological questions play something of a Cinderella role in discourse theory. Although discourse theorists attack mainstream approaches from an alternative epistemological and methodological standpoint — a stance that embodies a particular conception of social science — there are very few explicit theoretical statements of it. For the most part...
Book
This volume of essays employs discourse theory to analyze mainstream topics in contemporary European politics. Inspired by developments in post-structuralist, psychoanalytic and post-Marxist theory, each contributor problematizes a central issue in European governance, including European security, Third Way politics, constitutional and administrati...
Article
This article explores the logic of political protest by focussing on how, and in what form, groups reproduce themselves. It analyses how HACAN ClearSkies, a local airport protest group, has challenged the dominant ideology governing British aviation policy by articulating a new rhetoric of environmental protest. What we deem a transformative campai...

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Projects (2)
Archived project
How can we characterize and articulate the urban governance regimes which manage the economic development of post-Fordist cities? In the context of neoliberalism and global place-based competition, how do they ensure that the gains of economic boosterism and prosperity are enjoyed by all? What tensions, contradictions and contestations exist within these urban regimes? Is it possible for alternative models of economic development to take root given the institutional (and other) constraints of existing urban regimes?