Struggles for Recognition and Redistributive Policies

A Polanyian Analysis of Post-crisis Housing Policies in Europe’s Periphery


  • Katalin Amon Central European University

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The policy area of housing is associated with a set of contradictory claims over its subject and scope. This includes tension between a market-based understanding of housing, a social-rights-based approach, and a traditionalist approach (as patrimony). Debates about housing intensified after the financial crisis of 2008, especially on Europe’s periphery. The present research focuses on Hungary and Spain, two countries with diverging housing paths after the crisis, in which crisis management and housing debates resulted in a number of housing policy changes. The paper is based on a critical frame analysis of interview data and policy documents about these two sets of policies. It combines Karl Polanyi’s double movement theory with Nancy Fraser’s perspectival dualism to trace recognition and redistribution frames in housing policy discourses in an investigation of the dynamics that led to policy changes. It argues that market expansion and social protection, the two movements in Polanyi’s theory, should not be understood as forces that always clash with each other, but as a set of recognition and redistribution claims that mutually enable or limit each other as they are mediated through policy-making.






Beyond Recognition: Crises of Politics and Representation