The Financialization Of Urban Policy: The Irish State Responding To Crisis

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Abstract

Drawing upon insights from the literatures on urban political economy with regard to the operation of the planning system and the financialization of urban real estate, this article seeks examine the role of the Irish State in re-purposing urban policy to re-establish the conditions for a finance-led regime of growth in the Irish real estate market. Indeed, the intersection between the State and the finance and development sectors remains under-explored, while a lacuna in knowledge exists regarding the institutional infrastructures by which financialization occurs in practice. This article asserts that an under-appreciated mechanism by which the State facilitates financialized actors is through urban policy and planning legislation in order to enhance the profitability of development and real estate investment. Through a series of interventions involving the re-privatisation of nationalised real estate assets, the creation of new real estate investment platforms and the re-purposing of planning controls to enhance development profitability, the Irish State has conferred extraordinary powers upon itself to facilitate elite economic interests and attract a new coterie of globalised, financial capital into the Irish real estate sector. These actions have bestowed new oligopolistic powers on a small group of predominantly US-based hedge funds and institutional investors who have acquired vast portfolios of real estate assets and development loans at exceptional cost, and risk, to Irish taxpayers. This overt facilitation of financialized actors has served to stimulate new, localised property bubbles within specific real estate classes, while also creating new rounds of contestation and crises within the Irish housing market. By shining a light on recent change within urban policy, it is hoped to spark a more critical debate among urban planners of the role planning legislation plays in the continuing financialization of urban real estate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventContested Cities International Congress: From Contested Cities to global urban justice - critical dialogues - Universidad Autonama Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 04 Jul 201607 Jul 2016
http://contested-cities.net/congreso2016/en/home/

Conference

ConferenceContested Cities International Congress
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period04/07/201607/07/2016
Internet address

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