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Conceptualising the Bounded Agency of Housing Researchers: The Case of Housing Market Renewal in England


  • David Webb


Academic research on urban systems has recently come under criticism for its role in the promotion and justification of certain forms of state policy. This critical literature on research impact has identified increased client control of research agendas and processes. However, this paper argues that a rigorous conceptualisation is also needed of the precise ways in which urban researchers are themselves able to mould and establish new policy agendas. To this end, it offers a genealogical inquiry into the discursive resources drawn on by housing researchers in a bid to attain agency and direct government policy on housing market renewal. In contrast with representations of housing research as rational and objective, this account offers a means of reconceptualising applied research as a political practice of working within bounded agency spaces.

Suggested Citation

  • David Webb, 2012. "Conceptualising the Bounded Agency of Housing Researchers: The Case of Housing Market Renewal in England," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 315-330, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:12:y:2012:i:3:p:315-330
    DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2012.709670

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