Governing Nightlife: Profit, Fun and (Dis)Order in the Contemporary City


This article develops an understanding of the governance of urban nightlife. The starting point is that a night out in the post-industrial, consumption- oriented city is as much about issues of economic development and creativity as it is about ‘law and order’ and ‘social control’. Further, a number of groups often with conflicting interests, such as the local state, police, licensing magistrates, residents groups, door security firms, nightlife operators, consumers and workers, are involved in governing the night. However, the main aim of the article is to highlight that a ‘consensus’ has been formed for how the night-time economy should develop, which is largely based around meeting the needs of large and highly acquisitive property developers and entertainment conglomerates, profit generation and selling the city through upmarket, exclusive leisure aimed at highly mobile, cash-rich groups. The article concludes by asking what are the implications for older, historic and alternative, independent forms of nightlife.

How to Cite

Chatterton P., (2016) “Governing Nightlife: Profit, Fun and (Dis)Order in the Contemporary City”, Entertainment and Sports Law Journal 1(2). p.2. doi:







Paul Chatterton (Lecturer in Urban and Regional Development at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development, University of Newcastle, UK)





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This article has been peer reviewed.

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