Planning is part of the state apparatus in nearly all capitalist societies and is typical of capitalism, where the three foundation institutions of capitalism are private property, profit and the market. The urban managerialism thesis provided a rationale for the examination of planning and planners. They were believed to be a strategic group. Their replacement by other objects of analysis has left the sociology of planning with a weaker theoretical foundation. The organization of planning reveals a series of shifts from an attempted formal professionalization into a number of alternative forms including deprofessionalization and the attempted formation of a managerial and bureaucratic power base. Sociological theory for planners has been very important. Urban planning is a form of interventionist practice which has already made a subtle use of sociological theory. But the history of town planning is not an unequivocal narrative and to the extent that such a history is used must account for the social theory which underlies it.