• discourse;
  • governmentality;
  • planning;
  • sustainability;
  • urban capacity study

This article argues that policy discourses need to be set within the heterogeneous resources that governments routinely use to govern across the state/non-state divide. It employs the governmentality perspective to show how a discursive coalition in the planning for housing sector uses such resources to embed a new rationality of ‘planning for sustainability’ in a host of differing local arenas. The article extends the governmentality approach by proposing that this ‘embedding’ process is geographically uneven as the discourse becomes enmeshed in differing economic and environmental circumstances. The analysis thus reveals a geography of governmentality by showing how local actions intrude upon the functioning of governmental networks.