Ends and Means in Planning

International Social Science Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1959, pp. 361-368. Reprinted in Edward C. Banfield, Here the People Rule: Selected Essays (Washington, DC: AEI, 1991).


The word planning is given a bewildering variety of meanings. To some it means socialism. To others, the layout and design of cities. To still others, regional development schemes like TVA, measures to control the business cycle, or “scientific management” in industry. It would be easy to overemphasize what these activities have in common; their differences are certainly more striking than their similarities. Nevertheless, there may be a method of making decisions which is to some extent common to all these fields and to others as well, and that the logical structure of this method can usefully be elaborated as a theory of planning.

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