Foreign investment in residential real estate -especially by new middle-class and super-rich investors -is re-emerging as a key political issue in academic, policy and public debates. On the one hand, global real estate has become an asset class for foreign individual and institutional investors seeking to diversify their investment portfolios. On the other, a suite of intergenerational migration and education plans may also be motivating foreign investors. Government and public responses to the latest manifestation of global real estate investment have taken different forms. These range from pro-foreign investment, primarily justified on geopolitical economic grounds, to anti-foreign investment for reasons such as mitigating public dissent and protecting the local housing market. Within this changing global context, the six articles in this special issue on the globalisation of real estate present a diverse range of empirical case studies from Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, Australia and Korea. This editorial highlights four methodological challenges that the articles collectively highlight; they are (1) investor cohorts and property types, (2) regulatory settings, (3) geopolitics and (4) spatial differences and temporal trajectories.
This paper explores the issue of territorial stigmatisation through tenantdriven research chronicling the experiences of social housing tenants as they examined and reflected upon the Australian television series Housos. The television series aired on an independent, part publicly funded, television station in 2011 and depicts the lifestyles of fictional tenant characters on an imaginary social housing estate. The series presents satirical and exaggerated parodies about everyday life on the estate, drawing on a range of stereotypes of social housing tenants. Tenants are portrayed as feckless and antisocial individuals who engage in a range of irresponsible and sometimes criminal behaviour in order to avoid work and whose family and other relationships are dysfunctional. Public tenants are far from passive victims of stigmatisation and conducted the analysis presented in this study. They reveal a sophisticated understanding of how stigma operates through the media, various agencies, and the nonresident community. While economic and political forces, and changing modes for governing poverty, have resulted in geographical confinement of residents on estates, tenants reflected on their own 'real-life' experiences and provide accounts of deliberate and self-conscious use of 'negative' social status to produce positive collective identities. Alternatively, nontenant participants repeated common prejudices about public housing, and reflected on their belief that the system was not effectively preventing welfare cheats and 'bludgers' from loafing at their (taxpayers') expense.
The pace and scope of digital innovation targeting the real estate industry has intensified over the past decade. This article is therefore concerned with the digitization of the residential real estate industry, and how critical housing scholars might shape a research agenda on this transformation. We set out platform logic, digital labor, and financialization as a conceptual vocabulary for studying new digital modalities of real estate practice. Platform logic highlights questions of power and politics relating to the data collection capacities potentially obscured by platforms' convenience and ease of use. Digital labor points to how platform real estate may change relationships among incumbent real estate professionals, investors and property owners, and tenants and residents. Financialization shifts the focus to how digital platforms participate in the contemporary political economy of housing. The article concludes with an agenda for critical housing research on digital real estate platforms ARTICLE HISTORY
In this article, we consider the role of value pluralism in theorising urban development and the politics of participatory planning. Rather than situating analyses of urban development in a monist or universalist ethics, where values are reducible to a single universal (e.g. human rights), or a normative pluralism based on the tension between different bearers of political value (e.g. liberty and equality), we argue for a plural ethics to make sense of the complex empirical reality of our cities. Post-consensus theories of planning treat the presence of conflict as an enduring reality in urban development, with Chantal Mouffe providing one way of conceptualising a productive politics of conflict. We extend Mouffe’s plural politics through an appeal to value pluralism in the form of anthropological theories of value. A better understanding of the plural and incommensurable nature of values not only contributes to our understanding of the operation of agonistic pluralism, it also provides a more robust theoretical account of how different urban actors in the city transition from antagonism to agonism, which Mouffe suggests is necessary for a more inclusive urban politics. The politics of value resides in the struggle for legitimacy of particular regimes of value; not just to determine economic value, but to define what value is, and how different values dominate, encompass or otherwise relate to one another. This moral politics approach, via value theory, provides one way of tracing an ethical urbanism that exists between conflict and consensus. It allows us to reframe the central challenge of agonistic pluralism as the transition from antagonistic positions, marked by moral intransigence and immutability, towards more flexible value positions that allow ‘adversaries’ to enter into a viable agonistic politics.
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