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Title: The paradox of tenant empowerment : regulatory and liberatory possibilities
Authors: McKee, Kim
Cooper, Vickie
Keywords: Social housing
Community ownership
Tenant participation
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: McKee , K & Cooper , V 2008 , ' The paradox of tenant empowerment : regulatory and liberatory possibilities ' Housing, Theory and Society , vol 25 , no. 2 , pp. 132-146 . , 10.1080/14036090701657363
Abstract: Tenant empowerment has traditionally been regarded as a means of realising democratic ideals: a quantitative increase in influence and control, which thereby enables “subjects” to acquire the fundamental properties of “citizens”. By contrast governmentality, as derived from the work of Michel Foucault, offers a more critical appraisal of the concept of empowerment by highlighting how it is itself a mode of subjection and means of regulating human conduct towards particular ends. Drawing on empirical data about how housing governance has changed in Glasgow following its 2003 stock transfer, this paper adopts the insights of governmentality to illustrate how the political ambition of “community ownership” has been realized through the mobilization and shaping of active tenant involvement in the local decision-making process. In addition, it also traces the tensions and conflict inherent in the reconfiguration of power relations post-transfer for “subjects” do not necessarily conform to the plans of those that seek to govern them.
Version: Postprint
Description: The doctoral research on which this paper is based is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Status: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 1403-6096
Type: Journal article
Rights: This is an electronic version of an article published in Housing, Theory and Society, copyright © 2008 Taylor & Francis, which is available online at:
Appears in Collections:University of St Andrews Research
Geography & Geosciences Research
Geography & Sustainable Development Research

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