Adaptive utilitarianism, social enterprises and urban regeneration

Brendan Murtagh, Kathryn McFerran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Social enterprises have been placed at the centre of Big Society politics and an emphasis on the local as a site for experimentation and service delivery. Nationally, this has been supported by legislation in community transfer and procurement, social finance and new intermediaries to strengthen skills and loan readiness. This paper examines the role of social enterprises involved in urban development in Northern Ireland and highlights the multiple ethics, legitimation strategies and modalities that are necessary for sustainable forms of progressive regeneration. The paper concludes by stressing the possibilities of a more independent and reformist social economy and how this offers some practical alternatives to the enthusiasm for neoliberal policies in the local state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1585-1599
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • localism
  • neoliberalism
  • regeneration
  • social enterprise
  • social finance
  • utilitarianism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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