Situating financialisation in the geographies of neoliberal housing restructuring: reflections from Ireland and Australia
Environment and Planning A
The growing literature on housing financialisation offers an increasingly fine-grained analysis of how financial actors shape housing markets and systems internationally. Nevertheless, a lack of clarity remains about the geographical and temporally specific ways that financialisation grafts onto and amplifies wider neoliberal housing restructuring, as well as the role the global financial crisis (GFC) plays in its variegated trajectories. In this paper, we address this problematic by situating housing financialisation within the context of longer-term neoliberal restructuring via a comparative analysis of Ireland and Australia. Our empirical and conceptual aims are two-fold. First, we deploy our comparison to disentangle housing financialisation from wider processes of neoliberal restructuring and identify the moments in which financialisation acts as a crucial accelerant that amplifies but also mutates extant path dependent trajectories. Second we mobilise comparison to reflect critically on the role that crisis and crisis discourses play in facilitating regulatory restructuring through financialised logics. While in Ireland the crash formed a juncture for regulatory capture by financial actors and the deepening of financialisation as a core component of housing, Australia’s response to the GFC was a reassertion of the neoliberal status-quo. However, we contend that Australia’s housing markets are now characterised by many aspects of financialisation and remain vulnerable to its impacts. We argue that comparative analysis allows us to view the path dependent nature of neoliberal restructuring as well as the variegated geographies and temporalities of financialisation on housing regimes internationally.
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University of Wollongong