The diverse economies of housing
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This paper questions the uncritical transfer of neoliberal concepts, such as financialisation and overreliance on conceptual dichotomies like formal/informal, as the lenses through which to understand practices of housing provision and consumption in the post-communist space. To this end, it introduces the newly-established ‘diverse economies’ framework, which has been used elsewhere to reveal existing and possible alternatives to advanced capitalism. Applied to the Romanian case, the lens of diverse economic practices helps shed light on the ways in which the current housing system was historically constituted, with implications for how housing consumption is now stratified across some related housing typologies. The paper invites debate on the theoretical usefulness of the diverse economies framework to study housing phenomena, particularly its implications for understanding patterns of inequality and poverty, its potential to devise useful analytical categories, and its effect of directing attention to acts of resistance to neoliberal capitalism.
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