Law and Localism: The Case of Multiple Occupancy Housing
Legal Studies, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 5, 2012
This paper investigates how planning regulation constructs the local, encapsulating a locality and prioritizing local decision-making over regional and national scales. It draws on a case study of the regulation of multiple occupation to make three inter-related points. First, the analysis emphasizes the plurality of ‘locals’ and the interrelationships between them. Second, the paper explains how the justification of the local is required to make a locality legally visible. This operationalization and construction of the local (legally, spatially and socially) must take place before the political logic of localism, the prioritization of local decision-making over other scales of governance, can take legal effect. Third the paper explains how, once the ‘local’ is legally constructed and can make decisions, this prioritization of apparently neutral local expertise and knowledge can act to enclose the spatial and social with sometimes powerful exclusionary and regressive effects.
Keywords: 2011 Localism Act, NIMBY, houses in multiple occupation, maps, scale, law, governance, localism, juridification, enclosure, exclusion, planning
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