Gentrification and Statehood

The impact of public policies on the dynamics and patterns of gentrification has received increasing attention throughout the recent years. Yet, while it is generally acknowledged that the different institutional contexts have the potential to significantly “limit, alter, or impede gentrification” (Porter and Shaw 2009), the variegated geography of statehood have remained an under-explored issue in gentrification studies. In contrast with studies on “worlds of welfare capitalism” (Esping-Andersen 1990), on “housing systems” (Kemeny 1995 and 2005) or on “varieties of residential capitalism” (Schwarz and Seabrooke 2008), gentrification studies have been marked by a focus on the local (neighbourhood scale in particular) and hardly examined how different patterns of urban upgrading, redevelopment and displacement interplay with different variants of statehood. Divergent trajectories of institutionalizing property relations, tenure relations, and historico-geographical formulations of social justice concepts across the globe have thus remained out of sight. The shortfall extends to the examination of the role of the state and different constellations of private and public actors in producing gentrification. 

 This session aims to address this gap and invigorate the study of the relationship between gentrification and statehood. It calls for papers which study how reinvestment and displacement function in different institutional contexts, taking into consideration the political economic contexts that bring together divergent state and non-state actors. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are welcome.

Dr. Matthias Bernt, Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space


Dr. Hyun Bang Shin, London School of Economics and Political Science