The Political Economy of Land Rent, Financialization and Resistance
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Recent years have seen a gathering interest in the importance of real estate development to the growth and development of cities. This has included theoretical work on such topics as land rent and property rights as well as empirical studies on property investments, assetization, securitization, and the effects of changing property values on economic growth and the global status of cities. In the field of urban political economy, attention has turned particularly to the financialization of land and the built environment and to the globalization of property ownership, real estate development, and architectural design. This edited volume brings together a collection of original investigations of the current thinking on three broad themes: the assetization of land and buildings, the relationship of land rent to valuation and speculation in the markets for private and public properties, and the different ways in which land functions as a social relation. In order to ground the discussion, each chapter combines a theoretical perspective with empirical evidence. And, to convey a sense of the global nature of these phenomena, the book includes cases from Finland, India, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, China, and the United States.
Although its prime goal is to solidify and extend the political economy of land, this book is also a celebration of the Finnish scholar Anne Haila who was a major contributor to this literature and, specifically, to the work of this book’s authors. Prior to her sudden death in 2019, she was a key figure in the discussions that are at the core of the political economy of land: this book, in part, is a public acknowledgement of her contributions.
Introduction: The Political Economy of Land
Mika Hyötyläinen and Robert Beauregard
Part I: The Assetization of Land and Buildings
1. Land as a Financial Asset: The Theory of Urban Rent as a Mirror of Economic Transformation
2. Land as an Asset
Erik Swyngedouw and Callum Ward
3. Buildings as Financial Assets
Renee Tapp and Rachel Weber
Part II: Rent, Real Estate, and Property Markets
4. The Risk Myth: Blackstone, Housing and Rentier Capitalism
5. The Political Economy of Abandoned Property: Structure and Agency in Land Banking Practice in Muncie, Indiana
6. The Political Economy of Italian Public Real Estate Privatization: Austerity, Financialization and the "Enrichment Economy"
7. The Singapore and Hong Kong Property Markets: Lessons for the West from Successful Global Cities
Part III: Land and Social Relations
8. Land Relations in Turmoil: Trans-Local Constructions of Home Among Rural Migrants to Xiamen, China
Haoxuan Sa and Jani Vuolteenaho
9. Bridging Between Owners and Users in Japan’s Private Property Regime: The Case of Farmland Banking
10. Unauthorized Neighborhoods, Land Rent, and Working-Class Struggles in Indian Cities: The Slum Question Revisited
11. Public Land as a Social Relation: The Case of East River Park in New York City
12. Land Rent and the Struggle for the Urban Commons in Helsinki’s Suvilahti DIY Skatepark
Conclusion: A Summary from the Perspective of Rent Theory
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