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Urban Displacements and Contemporary Capitalism

Sat, September 25, 2021 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

$7 – $11

Governing Surplus and Survival in Global Capitalism

with author Susanne Soederberg

In the 1870s, Friedrich Engels published a series of articles on “The Housing Question,” wherein he argued that decent, secure housing for the working class is incompatible with the commodity nature of urban property and human labor power in the capitalist system, as the movements of capital inevitably will undermine all piecemeal reforms. Soederberg pushes beyond dominant debates by treating low-rent housing as a unique commodity that provides a necessary place for the societal reproduction of labor power while being integrated into the global dynamics of capitalism. She argues that historical and geographical configurations of monetized governance, including landlords, employers and inter-scalar state practices, have served to reproduce urban displacements and obfuscate their gendered, class and racialized underpinnings. The outcome is the everyday facilitation and normalization of urban poverty and social marginalization on one side, and capital accumulation on the other.Berlin, Dublin, and Vienna are case studies.

“What is the role of racialised barriers to housing in changing landscapes of accumulation? How does renting become a central process in disuniting working people? This insightful work guides the reader through this most urgent of debates.” —Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya, Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London

Susanne Soederberg, Professor of Political Economy in Global Development Studies at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, is also the author of Debtfare States and the Poverty Industry (2014) and Corporate Power and Ownership in Contemporary Capitalism (2010).