Berlin Travel on Planning ceased to be only a socialist concept. It became a magic word of the Cold War decades (Escobar 2010a). In areas of the world that were constructed as underdeveloped, the concept of planning pointed to a societal process, in which the state was a key actor but which also involved domestic and international agencies such as the Ford Foundation. Clearly the Ford Foundation was not the only agency to operate in the nexus of area studies and development, but its role as a key grant maker and its relations to the Ford Motor Company make it an important example to examine. As Simon Clarke writes, Kerr’s theory of industrial society offered an altogether more humanistic and optimistic Fordist project, which it was expected would sell better on world markets than Henry Ford’s earlier offer of hard work and puritanical self-discipline (Clarke 1990,13). Nonetheless, Kerr hypothesized an ideal type of industrial society that faced many barriers to realization. Although the task of social science research was to remove these barriers, they eventually proved too difficult to overcome. Berlin Travel 2016.
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