The role of regulation in creating alternative imaginings

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What is the role of regulation in creating alternative imaginings of regulatory spaces that could open up possibilities for communities at the margins? How can the new political knowledges, social infrastructures and legal forms needed for regulatory regimes that enable communities at the margins to imagine and enact alternative futures be developed? How can regulatory architectures be appropriated by communities at the margins for socially innovative, creative economic development? This paper reports on an innovative research programme: Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement. This programme aims to co-produce a research agenda through the Productive Communities Research Forum, a multi-disciplinary collaboration between academics across the social sciences, law, arts and humanities working together with neighbourhood-based, identity-based and faith-based community organisations and social enterprises experimenting with new ways of living and working. The community organisations are multiply-placed organisations working with communities at the margins; they often represent several constituencies, able to reinvent and reposition themselves. Through the Productive Margins Research Forum this programme seeks to examine regulation from the bottom-up, establishing mechanisms of regulation for engagement, and for communities to engage in regulatory spaces. This involves re-envisioning spaces of regulation from the perspective of the everyday lives of communities, grass-roots experimentation and ‘new adventures in living’ (Gibson-Graham & Roelvink 2011) that underpin alternative futures.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherProductive Margins: Regulating for Engagement
Number of pages17
Publication statusUnpublished - Aug 2016


  • Regulation
  • Co-production
  • community organisations
  • voluntary sector


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