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Governance & Regulation Research Cluster

Coordinators: Toni Williams & Kate Bedford

The core focus of the governance and regulation research project is the implications for law, gender and sexuality of techniques and processes of governance, with particular emphasis on how these techniques and processes are productive of, and resistant to, inequality, disadvantage and exclusion.

Core research questions include:

  • how Gender, Sexuality and Law studies can contribute to the conceptualisation of legal and policy developments (in national, cross-national and international contexts)
  • how particular areas of law have been gendered historically, and how and why such gendered legal arrangements may be changing
  • how GSL scholarship can contribute to more aspirational and utopian legal and political projects
  • how a focus on governance and regulation can throw light on policy initiatives in the equality field particularly in the context of furthering understandings of, and responses to, intersectional inequality

Overall the project is one which sees law as a repository of a set of governance and regulatory techniques through which power may be both exercised and resisted.

Three areas of studies that are particularly significant in the work of CentreLGS members:

  1. concepts of citizenship and state,
  2. the regulation of intimate relations,
  3. the regulation of communities in the context of conceptions of civil society.

Concepts of citizenship and state

In the context of citizenship, a primary goal is to assess both the progressive and regressive dimensions of citizenship discourse in a GSL context. An additional concern is to track the rise and deployment of ideas of citizenship (explicit or implicit) in governance contexts. Citizenship here includes notions of economic citizenship (particularly in relation to participation in paid work), sexual citizenship (encompassing strategies to extend or withhold full citizenship rights on the basis of sexuality) and national/supranational citizenship (highlighting GSL issues in the context of questions of immigration, asylum, development and human rights).

Regulation of intimate relations

A focus on the regulation of intimate relations sets out to dispel understandings of intimacy as outside the sphere of law and tracks the many ways in which intimacy, including sexual intimacy, is constructed and produced through law. Key contexts here include same sex partnerships, marital/shared property rights, transgender law reform, the regulation of sexual offences and sexual/gendered violence.

A report from the Regulating Intimacy Workshop is available to download:

Word Doc for downloading Regulating Intimacy Workshop Report

Regulation of communities

The focus on communities and activism is primarily concerned with how non-state actors are positioned in and regulated by law and the role of gender and sexuality in this regulatory context. It encompasses work focused on the strategic deployment of law for social/public interest purposes, the incorporation of communities within law and state policy implementation, and the regulation of intra-community conflicts (or potential conflicts). Much of this work is also grounded in or engaged with a normative framework which is equality-seeking.

Current research projects include:

  • Research on a project that develops normative political theory through the lens of exploring progressive and radical community spaces. Currently completed parts of the project examine Speakers Corner, LETS schemes and Summerhill School in relation to themes of community, strangers, property, freedom and the public sphere. (Davina Cooper, University of Kent)
  • A joint project on ‘sexuality and the citizen-carer’ (Joanne Conaghan and Emily Grabham
Law school Kent University

In this section:

Research Clusters:
Key Concepts and Methods
Healthcare & Bioethics

Law & Culture
Governance & Regulation

Key Concepts and Methods
Healthcare & Bioethics
Law & Culture
Governance & Regulation

Members Research Interests:
Key concepts and methods
Healthcare and Bioethics
Law & Culture
Governance and Regulation

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