Panel 41. Tenants’ organising and protest repertoires: contexts and comparisons
- Miguel A. Martínez (Uppsala University, Sweden)
- Javier Gil (UNED, Spain)
- Lorenzo Vidal (UNED,Spain)
With financialised capitalism on the rise and the housing crisis expanding across the major cities of the world, little attention has been paid to the political organising of tenants. On the one hand, rent strikes by university students and tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic have revived an old protest repertoire that became less regular and frequent over the last decades. On the other hand, tenants’ organising has adopted many new forms as a response to the rise of rentierism, especially performed by Global Corporate Landlords, and waves of foreclosures and home evictions following the 2008 global financial crisis. Blockades, court litigations, petitions to change housing policies and legislation, demands of rent controls, and referendums calling for the expropriation of large landlords and bailed-out banks resulted from the developments of the last two decades. This revival of tenants’ organising, thus, demands accurate and updated analyses. In this panel we suggest to focus on contexts and comparisons, not only on the contents of these housing struggles. In particular, we propose to pay attention to the political, economic, social and historical contexts in which these struggles took place. This contextualisation raises crucial issues regarding its explanatory capability in order to understand the developments and achievements of this kind of activism. In addition, there is a shortage of comparative analyses regarding tenants’ organising. Therefore, we also call to examine methods and substance in the comparison of cases, both across time and geographies, with a special emphasis on the Global North(s) and the Global South(s).
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