The housing market sits at a crucial tension within contemporary capitalism, because of the contradictory roles played by housing in the broad processes of capitalist accumulation. Housing is a crucial part of the social reproduction of the workforce, and it is also a financial asset with a value-storing role from which rent is extracted. As a result, disputes over housing policy provide an important insight into the intertwined evolutions of state policies and capitalist practices of accumulation. Moreover, what is increasingly called 'rentierism' has become a key concept in recent analyses of techno-feudalism, emphasising the (re)turn to forms of profit and capital accumulation based on intellectual monopolies and (feudal?) forms of rent-extraction. Thus, the workshop hopes to tackle some of the key questions about the political economy of the contemporary world order, and its relation to how we understand past modes of production.
To do so, the workshop discusses, from a historical sociological perspective, the social disputes that permeate real estate markets and their governance through the notion of residential capitalism presented by Javier Moreno Zacares's upcoming book Residential Capitalism: rent extraction and capitalist production in modern Spain 1834-2023 (Routledge). Our speakers include two members of Uppsala University's Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Brett Christophers and Callum Ward, and Christine Schwöbel-Patel, from Warwick Law School.
Javier Moreno Zacarés is an Assistant Professor in International Political Economy in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, UK.