McKee K (2009) Regulating Scotland's Social Landlords: Localised Resistance to Technologies of Performance Management. Housing Studies, 24 (2), pp. 155-171. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673030802704345
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.
Foucault; governmentality; housing governance; power; social housing; social theory
Housing Studies: Volume 24, Issue 2