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The Local State of Housing: Deepening Entrepreneurial Governance and The Place of Politics and Publics

ORMEROD, EMMA (2017) The Local State of Housing: Deepening Entrepreneurial Governance and The Place of Politics and Publics. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Housing is political, and its relation to the local state is undergoing a monumental transition. This research charts the journey of a neighbourhood in Gateshead, North East England through housing regeneration. It focuses on a joint venture partnership that has grown from a mired central state regeneration initiative, Housing Market Renewal. In doing so, it grounds and develops Bob Jessop’s (2016) most recent and flexible state theory, to posit the local state as an increasingly relevant conceptual and analytical frame through which to reveal contemporary transformations in local governance. Through an in-depth examination of the relations between new and old state actors, local politics and multiple publics, we can see who is governing and who matters.

In positioning housing as central to a contemporary capitalist political economy, housing therefore becomes a key optic through which to understand the deepening of entrepreneurial governance under austerity localism. The local state in Gateshead is reconstructing the housing market and harnessing private finance. It has become a housing developer in its own right through a complex and opaque process of financialization. Despite an entrenched marketized logic, however, the local state is not simply a unified or monolithic structure. It consists of both structures and relations that are in constant struggle as it tentatively negotiates the current and unstable mode of local governance. Seeing the state as a fragmented, malleable and permeable set of relations reveals the various forms of power and sources of pressure within and beyond it.

Through examples of both conflict and consensus building, a local struggle over representation and legitimacy opens up conceptual questions about politics and the political. As the local state moves increasingly away from previous processes of public engagement and actively conceals its role in housing development, this new governing arrangement is dislocating politicians from the publics they represent. The channeling of political power into the hands of new state actors is undoubtedly de-democratising. However, there remains the potential to disrupt, or re‐politicise such processes, which can offer hope to the place of politics and publics.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Housing, regeneration, political, public, financialization, local state, social relations
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:22 Nov 2017 09:35

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