Revanchism, Stigma and the Production of Ignorance: Housing Struggles in Austerity Britain

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Abstract

This article exposes, analyses and challenges the revanchism (Smith, 1996) exhibited by ruling elites in austerity Britain. After recapitulating the concept of revanchism in its original form, and discussing some critiques and extensions, it scrutinises the emergence of revanchist political economy in Britain, with particular reference to the UK housing crisis. In order to explain how revanchism has become so ingrained in British society, the article analyses the production of ignorance via the activation of class and place stigma, where free market think tanks play a crucial role in deflecting attention away from the causes of housing crisis. It is argued that the production of ignorance carves an economic and political path for gentrification on a scale never before seen in the UK, where speculation, rentier capitalist extraction and the global circulation of capital in urban land markets is resulting in staggering fortunes for those expropriating socially created use values.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRisking Capitalism
Subtitle of host publicationResearch in Political Economy
EditorsSusanne Soederberg
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Pages23-48
Volume31
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78635-235-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-78635-236-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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