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The Prehistories of Neoliberal Housing Policies in Italy and Spain and Their Reification in Times of Crisis

Di Feliciantonio, C and Aalbers, MB (2017) The Prehistories of Neoliberal Housing Policies in Italy and Spain and Their Reification in Times of Crisis. Housing Policy Debate, 28 (1). pp. 135-151. ISSN 1051-1482

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Abstract

© 2017 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In this article we analyze the historical roots of neoliberal housing policies, mottos, and principles in Italy and Spain, two countries with a Mediterranean welfare regime, showing how they are embedded in the twentieth-century fascist–dictatorial regimes of Mussolini and Franco. To stimulate economic growth in a situation of autarchy, both regimes saw the construction sector and the promotion of homeownership as keys to fuel the accumulation process while believing this guaranteed social order. After acknowledging these long-standing roots, we show how the current phase of neoliberalism, characterized by severe austerity policies, relies on similar principles, the main reforms approved in both countries proceeding mainly toward cuts to service provisions and resources, whereas the promotion of homeownership remains unchallenged.

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