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Travel Blending: Whither Regulation?

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Travel blending, as a form of travel demand management, has in recent times been celebrated by transport planners as a means of shaping travel behaviour without regulation. Accordingly, travel blending is said to overcome the problems of the state bureaucracy imposing its will upon the individual’s travel choices. In this paper we introduce a Foucauldian analysis to the field of transport in order to examine the assertions made by proponents of travel blending that they are not exercising power in the course of shaping travel behaviour. In particular, we use recent elaborations of Foucault’s work on governmentality to explore the ways in which the sites, subjects and objects of travel are discursively constituted within travel blending thereby enabling new ways of intervening upon the travelling subject. We suggest that a governmentality approach not only provides a fertile means of investigating transport but also reveals travel blending as a regulatory practice serving to structure the individual’s field of action.

Keywords: governmentality; power; transport planning; travel blending; travel diary; travelling subjects

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: University of South Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2001


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