Shopping centres face multiple issues arising from their status as quasi-public Third Places. Such challenges are compounded by the enduring, difficult retail environment. Against this backdrop, the research explores how a legally pluralistic understanding of place-governance could inform future strategies for securing shopping centres’ roles within the community.
This UK-based, bistage, multi-case study draws on various data sources collected from seven shopping centres across Northern England. It adopts both thematic analysis and cross-case synthesis to generate rich findings.
The data analysis identified three key themes: the diverse shopping centre population, internally generated norms and externally developed law.
This article makes a bifold contribution to the literature. First, it commingles and develops theories of legal geography and legal pluralism to introduce a new tripartite lens for exploring place-governance, which comprises black-letter, policy and cultural elements. Secondly, it utilizes this model to generate empirically based findings about shopping centre place-governance from the insider perspectives of centre management, centre operatives and tenants.Business Law Review