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Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol

Morag McDermont is Principal Investigator for two research programmes:

Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement is a 5-year programme which began in April 2013 and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the Connected Communities programme. It is a collaborative programme between nine community organisations in Bristol and south Wales and the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff, which aims to co-produce research about the ways in which regulatory systems can be re-designed to promote engaged decision-making in politics, policy and the arts. See

New Sites of Legal Consciousness: a case study of UK advice agencies is a four year programme of research (staring April 2012) funded by the European Research Council examines the role played by advice agencies in a rapidly changing legal landscape. See
Morag was appointed as a Lecturer in the School of Law in 2004. Much of her research has been shaped by 15 years’ experience working for local government, housing associations and housing co-ops. Morag returned to full-time study in 1999, completed a LL.M. in Public Law at the University of Bristol in 2001, and then a PhD at the University of the West of England. She has published two books: Regulating Social Housing: Governing Decline (Glasshouse, 2006) with Dave Cowan; and Governing, Independence and Expertise: the Business of Housing Associations (Hart, 2010), a study of the historical role played by the National Housing Federation (the representative organisation for housing associations in England) in the governance of social housing sector.
Morag's research interests are focused around issues of regulation and governing, in particular the role played by the third sector/voluntary sector. She has an interest in the role of social theory in research and teaching, particularly the work of Michel Foucault and the governmentality scholars, and the work of Callon, Latour and others around the sociology of translation. All her research now aims to be a collaboration between academics and non-academics, recognising the importance of practitioner knowledge and expertise-by-experience in designing future research directions


  • –present
    Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol