The scarcity of affordable rental housing has become a defining social issue with an increasing number of impoverished households embroiled in a vicious cycle of rental housing insecurity marked by overindebtedness, evictions and homelessness.
The latter has hit a crisis point in Europe, as more people — especially migrants, refugees and single-parents — are being displaced from rental homes due to insufficient or irregular income.
To deconstruct this reality, Susanne Soederberg will push beyond dominant debates by treating low-income rental housing as a historical social relation. Her talk will draw on an empirically grounded analysis of Berlin, Dublin and Vienna. She will argue that historical and geographical configurations of monetized power, including landlords, employers and inter-scalar state practices, have served to reproduce rental housing insecurity and silence its gendered, class and racialized underpinnings.
About the speaker
Susanne Soederberg is a professor in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Her research interests are broad and varied, ranging from global development finance, global governance, corporate power, debt, urban poverty and state theory.
Soederberg has investigated these themes across many geographical spaces across the global North and global South, including Latin America, Southeast Asia, North America and Europe. Among numerous scholarly publications and special issue editorships, Soederberg has authored several books, including two award-winning monographs, Corporate Power in Contemporary Capitalism (2010) and Debtfare States and the Poverty Industry (2014). Her latest book, Urban Displacements: Governing Surplus and Survival in Global Capitalism, will appear in print in early 2021.