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Governing Neighbours: Anti-social Behaviour Orders and New Forms of Regulating Conduct in the UK

John Flint and Judy Nixon
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John Flint: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield, UK.
Judy Nixon: Centre for Social Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield, UK.

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 5-6, 939-955

Abstract: Discourses on anti-social behaviour in the UK are embedded within a wider politics of conduct based around concepts of citizenship, self-regulation, welfare conditionality, obligations to communities and rights and responsibilities. This paper explores how the regulation of behaviour is framed within ideas of community and contractual governance and identifies the central role for housing within strategies aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour and promoting civility. It discusses the use of Anti-social Behaviour Orders in governing conduct within a wider package of regulatory mechanisms including Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and tenancy agreements. An increasing focus on governing the interactions between neighbours is identified along with techniques to achieve this, including the growing use of conditionality in welfare entitlement. The paper argues that the regulation of conduct is symbolic of significant realignments of the roles of various actors in policing residential areas and raises fundamental questions about the link between conduct, citizenship rights and the scope and ambition of governance interventions aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour at individual and community levels.

Date: 2006
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