The Struggle for the Right to Housing in Spain

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The Struggle for the Right to Housing in Spain

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Publication BookChapter
Title The Struggle for the Right to Housing in Spain
Author Peiteado Fernández, Vítor
Editor Kaae Fisker, Jens ; Chiappini, Letizia ; Pugalis, Lee ; Bruzzese, Antonella
Date 2019
English abstract
This paper seeks to analyse how the defence and expansion of housing rights can be mobilised to become a main topic for contention. For doing that, the article analyses how social mobilisation around housing has widely expanded in Spain since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, mainly canalised by the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages (PAH), which have achieved high relevance in mobilising people and influencing the political agenda. Consequently, the organisation has gathered lots of attention from many scholars who have intensively researched how PAH has developed the resistance to housing commodification. Recognising the value of these works, I consider nevertheless that they overestimate the levels of antagonism of PAH, mainly because they are based on fieldwork conducted in important chapters of the organisation which are in the vanguard of the movement. As relevant as these works are to unfold the dynamics in these nodes, the strong decentralisation recommends to question the generalisation of that vision to the whole organisation, something that has been confirmed by my own fieldwork in a small node of the organisation (Stop Desahucios Coruña). This makes necessary to revise the homogeneous visions of the dynamics within the organisation and to rethink how, if the different nodes show so diverse perceptions, the organisation still manages to be so strong and relevant. The article argues that it is necessary to look at spatio-temporal circumstances, which pose constraints and opportunities for activism. To understand how the organisation responds to the spatio-temporal variable, it is important to look at the different articulations of discourse, identity and repertoire of collective action, which form assemblages in the terms defined by Deleuze and Guattari which can even seem to contradict each other. Thus, these different assemblages are a consequence of the ephemeral and contingent relations between these three aspects, confronting the uniformed visions of PAH’s mobilisation. Therefore, while in some cases this assemblage produces a more antagonist result (that can be the case of the oldest PAHs), in other cases the antagonism can be less relevant or even absent, like it happens in the case of Stop Desahucios Coruña. Furthermore, there exists also temporal differences which influence the assemblages even within a node, being fundamental the changes in time of the roles played by activists and affected people. The analysis concludes that the success of the organisation is sustained in an extreme flexibility and openness to adapt to the different assemblages produced by the spatio-temporal contexts, whereas the refusal to rescale the mobilisation further than the local scale avoids exposing possible contradictions of such a flexible framing. Finally, I consider this experience important to show not only the potential of housing issues to articulate social mobilisation, but also to present innovative strategies for other movements contesting neoliberal housing commodification.
DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315103952 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Routledge
Host/Issue The Production of Alternative Urban Spaces : an International Dialogue
Series/Issue Regions and Cities;130
ISBN 9781138099784
9781315103952
Language eng (iso)
Subject Right to housing
PAH
Antagonism
15M
Housing de-commodification
Spain
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/28206 Permalink to this page
Buy print http://www.bokfynd.nu/...9781138099784 (Search for reseller)
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA.
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