Reconfiguring housing governance in Glasgow post-stock transfer: regulatory and liberatory possibilities

McKee, Kimberly (2007) Reconfiguring housing governance in Glasgow post-stock transfer: regulatory and liberatory possibilities. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


The 2003 Glasgow housing stock transfer was underpinned by the political rationale of community ownership: an ideal that aspired to empower citizens by devolving both ownership and control of council housing from the state to local communities. This ambition was to be achieved through a two-tier stock transfer process: firstly, by the establishment of the Glasgow Housing Association and devolution of former council housing management to a citywide network of Local Housing Organisations, which are small-scale, community controlled housing organisations governed by committees of local residents; and secondly by commitments to future Second Stage Transfers in order that these local organisations may own as well as manage the housing.
Drawing on empirical data about how housing governance has been reconfigured in Glasgow following the stock transfer, this thesis takes inspiration from Foucauldian theory to argue that tenant empowerment embodies regulatory as well as liberatory possibilities, for it is not simply a radical political project aimed at increasing citizen control but fundamentally a strategy of government aimed at mobilising and shaping tenants’ active involvement towards particular ends (see Cruikshank 1994, 1999). This is not to suggest that power is always successful in realising its effects for importantly this thesis seeks to highlight the disjuncture that exists between particular ‘mentalities of rule’ and ‘empirical reality’. In doing so it highlights that power is not totalising or all encompassing but can be subject to challenge, contestation and resistance from below.

Ethnographic case study research highlights that far from realising ambitions for enhanced local control through community ownership, housing governance in Glasgow post-stock transfer is characterised by difficult central-local tensions within the devolved management arrangements; delays and emergent complexities in delivering the pivotal goal of further secondary transfers; and a notable lack of support, and indeed interest, amongst lay tenants and key actors for this underlying imperative to transfer ownership of the housing. Furthermore given the constraints facing all Registered Social Landlords through the housing legislative and regulatory framework, community ownership may actually enhance instead of reduce the power and influence of the state within housing governance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Portions of this thesis draw on already published papers. Chapters 3 and 4 incorporate arguments first developed in McKee (2006) “The Highs and Lows of Using Case Studies in Student Research Projects: practical problems versus dynamite data”, Graduate Journal of Social Science [online] 3 (2), pp. 58-80. Whilst aspects of chapters 6 and 7 were first featured in McKee (2007) “Community Ownership in Glasgow: the devolution of ownership and control, or a centralizing process”, European Journal of Housing Policy 7 (3), pp. 319-336, and sections of chapters 1, 5 and 8 in McKee and Cooper (forthcoming, 2008) “The Paradox of Tenant Empowerment: regulatory and liberatory possibilities”, Housing, Theory and Society. Permission has been granted by both the Graduate Journal of Social Science editorial team and Taylor and Francis to reproduce this content free of charge within my thesis.
Keywords: social housing, community ownership, tenant empowerment, governance, governmentality, ethnography
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Supervisor's Name: Hastings, Ms Annette and Flint, Mr John
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Kimberly McKee
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-44
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2008
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 11:32

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item