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Untitled Document
Social Housing and Globalisation

Proposed in November 2010
Created in March 2014


Claire Levy-Vroelant
University of Paris 8-Saint-Denis


Christoph Reinprecht
University of Vienna
Institute for Sociology
Sasha Tsenkova
University of Calgary
Faculty of Environmental Design
2500 University Drive NW
T2N 1N4 Calgary, Canada

Description of the Working Group (central theme)
In this working group, we intend to develop issues related to globalisation and its consequences on policies and social practices concerning social housing. Societal changes appear to be at the core of transformation taking place in the field of social housing and more broadly, in the field of public actions related to housing. While housing policies are redefining themselves at different scales and under new values and norms, it appears quite clearly that the “European model”, somehow outdated, is under redefinition in the different national frames, but also challenged at a more worldwide scale. It is definitely to be revised thanks to broader approaches including other continents’ experiences of “local welfare”.
Housing policies are redefined “between local and global”, displacing the debate on path dependence and engaging new types of partnerships, conflicts, negotiations. Politicians at different levels develop answers while participating to reconfigurations that involve many stakeholders and actors: State, organisations, institutions, banks, political parties and unions, local authorities, Housing associations, lobbies, inhabitants, etc. In other words, Social housing continues to provide political responses to societal changes. At the same time, the so-called “European model” is interpreted and reconfigured in different parts of the world, since globalisation means creation of centrality and marginality at the same time and at a worldwide scale.
The Working Group should allow discussing further on these political and scientific challenges, hopefully by comparative and collaborative case studies analysis, and projects that bring these different levels together. Social housing epopee should then be observed through actions and representations, at all possible stages and from local to global.

Activities in 2014 and 2015

  1. Workshop-sessions in ENHR conferences on the effects of (new) configurations of social housing policies in globalized urban-local contexts (Edinburg 2014; 14 papers), and on social housing in a time of change: are we focusing on People? (Lisbon 2015; 8 papers).
  2. Preparation of a collaborative book project on “Social Housing and Globalization”, based on the working group seminar Vienna 2013, and several workshop-sessions, in particular Edinburg 2014 and Lisbon 2015. Edited by Claire Lévy-Vroelant and Christoph Reinprecht, the book will be published 2017 by Wiley-Blackwell (Real Estate Issues Series).