Regulating Scotland's social landlords: localised resistance to technologies of performance management

Kim McKee

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Influenced by Foucault's later work on governmentality, this paper explores the regulation of social landlords as a 'technology of performance' concerned with governing the conduct of dispersed welfare agencies and the professionals within them. This is a mode of power that is both voluntary and coercive; it seeks to realise its ambitions not through direct acts of intervention, but by promoting the responsible self-governance of autonomous subjects. Through an analysis of the regulatory framework for social landlords in Scotland, this paper highlights the creation of a performance culture that seeks to mobilise housing organisations to reconcile their local management systems and service provision to external standards, whilst simultaneously wielding punitive interventions for non-compliance. However, housing professionals are not passive in all of this, and indeed, actively challenged and resisted these top-down attempts to govern them at arm's-length.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-171
Number of pages16
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Focault
  • Governmentality
  • Housing governance
  • Power
  • Social housing


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