New forms and practices of dispossession through housing and land financialisation

Novel practices of housing and land dispossession characterise the post-crush urban condition. Public policies, in alliance with neoliberal think-tanks and financial institutions, have arranged the construction of debt through financial techniques (Glassmann, 2006, Mezzandra and Neilson, 2015). This productive essence of finance operations (Marazzi, 2011) is manifold; banks that engaged in reckless financial speculation, are recapitalised with public money, socialising privately constructed debt. This indebtedness is used to create new financial products exchanged in the command centres of global finance. Simultaneously, over-indebted households face home repossessions and displacement through new modes of ‘accumulation by dispossession’ (Harvey, 2005). Hence, financial operations are  shaping new directions in urban policy, housing, land and new everyday realities through the production of indebted subjectivities (Garcia-Lamarca and Kaika, 2016).

However, relatively little is known about how these financial operations are orchestrated and reflected in space. The link between finance and the urban environment is reestablished in an unclear ‘post-crash’ way, while the operational infrastructure that supports financialisation remains under-examined (Poovey, 2015; Ouma, 2015). Research on the State’s role in shaping the economic, political and institutional pathways to financialisation is in its infancy (Christophers, 2016). It seems essential to grasp the ways financialisation has inclined the balance of urban reproduction towards the interests of global financial actors (Halbert and Attuyer, 2016). 

This session explores the dynamics of housing and land financialisation in the aftermath of the crisis and the concomitant  forms of displacement and dispossession. A range of topics is sought, including, but not limited to:

  • How the link between housing and finance is being reconstructed
  • The construction of new urban policies and their relation to financial operations
  • Private equity landlords and their relation to governments (local, national and supranational)
  • New forms of housing and land dispossession
  • The new social and urban geographies of displacement


Georgia Alexandri, Madrid Autonomous University of Madrid

Sonia Vives, University Santiago de Compostella

Richard Waldron, University College Dublin