the dominant modes of thought that see Germany either as ‘squeezed’ by
global forces on to convergent neo-liberal lines, or as directly opposing neoliberal restructuring, hence always either neo-liberal or non-neo-liberal. I
then go on to explore the historical institutions and practices of state, capital
and labour in Germany that have made possible particular contemporary
programmes of restructuring. Finally, I discuss the contemporary restructuring of working practices in Germany, demonstrating the negotiated and
mediated nature of reforms.
As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.
largesse in table 6.1. This is the official government valuation of the capital investment being delivered in each contract
and its estimate of the total unitary charge payments (the total
contract value in nominal terms) for each of the 20 housing PFI
schemes.3 By capital investment value, we do not mean what it
actually cost to finance (i.e. the bank interest accrued), but what
the effective construction value of the new and refurbished homes
is, plus any planned maintenance works over the duration of the
contract. As we can see, the total capital investment value
Securing or denying minorities’ right to the city?
kinds of public spaces and tend to
control who uses these spaces and how (Rosol, 2012), conflicts over garden spaces
have proliferated (Smith and Kurtz, 2003; Staeheli et al., 2002). Those garden
practices/spaces that are seen as threats or barriers to capital accumulation and
revenue generation are therefore subject to eviction and severe restrictions by
state agencies within neoliberal political-economic regimes (Irazabal and Punja,
2009; Smith and Kurtz, 2003). While community garden practices in some
instances are discouraged by state authorities and private
anywhere on the planet – volunteering their geolocation for public
viewing on social media. Likewise, even seemingly unrelated practices like
buying a house (landed capital investment) are now informed by digital maps.
Property searches offer ready spatialisation of public datasets (school reports,
crime statistics and boundary areas) set against the property type. Homebuyers
now have the ability to narrow their shortlist criteria and create their own
mapping prior to viewing, destabilising the sales practices of estate agents.
Alongside complex developments in the
political urban gardening
Context is critical for understanding the conditions which have led the public
to re-evaluate ‘everyday space’ in the urban realm (Hou, 2010; Milbourne,
Conflation in political gardening
2012: 944), for example, parks, markets, streets and verges (Certoma, 2015; Hou,
2010). Neoliberalism has been and continues to be a dominant mode of political economic restructuring and form of governmentality. It is underpinned by
appropriate relationships between the State, capital, private enterprise and the
public (Ong, 2006). Characteristics include
introduces the controversial
background and evolution of the PFI model in housing regeneration – what I call outsourcing on steroids. There are many different
variations of PFI both in the UK and globally but, in simple terms,
it involves outsourcing the design, capital financing, construction
or renewal and operation of public infrastructure – such as hospitals, schools and social housing – to private companies in long-term
contracts – typically lasting 30 years.
The chapter begins by outlining the basic workings of a PFI
scheme before exploring the origins of this model
interrelated activities of bankers, builders and buyers that
kept one another aloft through the consistent movement of capital suddenly
and cumulatively ceased to function, resulting in an almost apocalyptic freezeframe of the state of development at that time. What had been parts in constant
motion have settled, at least momentarily, into a landscape of crisis and dereliction that simultaneously underlines the lie of the Celtic Tiger’s myth of eternal
growth and offers an archaeological cross-section through which to explore
and understand this period and the factors that
and outlines an alternative understanding that follows from the IPE of social
practice developed in chapter 2. I then go on to explore the making of
globalisation in the British discourse of hyperflexibility and the historical
representations of state, capital and labour that have made this possible.
Finally, I discuss the contemporary restructuring of working practices in
Britain, revealing the contests and contradictions that characterise the politics
of the flexibility programme.
Globalisation and the ‘national capitalisms’ debate
In the debates
Alex Schafran, Matthew Noah Smith and Stephen Hall
Promise of Infrastructure , the anthropologists Nikhil Anand, Akhil Gupta and Hannah Appel argue that
On the one hand, governments and corporations point to infrastructural investment as a source of jobs, market access, capital accumulation, and public provision and safety. On the other hand, communities worldwide face ongoing problems of service delivery, ruination, and abandonment, and they use infrastructure as a site both to make and contest political claims. As the black cities of Michigan or the rubble in Palestine forcefully show, the material and