Agonism, decision, power – The art of working unfinished
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPløger, J. (2023). Agonism, decision, power – The art of working unfinished. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 81 (5), 449-460. https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.1668
The current debate on agonism has become fixed in an institutional approach: How can an agonistic design institutionally become a tool against forms of domination? An agonistic space needs decisions that do not silence dissensual voices with a finite decision. This paper suggests that this agonistic approach needs de-cisions or simply put, temporary decisions drawn from seeing a decision as a solution for now. A de-cision is not a no-decision, but a decision recognised as temporary. The paper proposes ‘the sketch’ as an appropriate mode for working de-cisionally and unfinished. By having a sketch and working de-cisionally, planners are able to invite agonistic positions to ongoing talks and to act progressively, adaptably, or rationally in the face of emerging circumstances and uncertainty. To work unfinished from a sketch transforms the planning process from being a matter of reaching a finite decision to a strife about how to understand the present and which temporary contours and directions to move on from. The paper as such thus deals with difficult praxis questions, for instance: How is it possible to allow dissent to inform planning praxis in praxis? How can quarrelling and working unfinished empower planning democracy?