Although housing plays a pivotal role in global capitalism, the theoretical links between housing research and political economy remain tenuous. Building on the recent revival of rent theory, this article fleshes out a political economy framework for the analysis of housing provision under capitalism. It opens with an outline of the process of “residential accumulation”, explained as a complex interaction between the opposing dynamics of rent extraction and capitalist production. The article then traces this interaction across the different phases of the housing provision process, starting at the point of production, passing through exchange and finance, and finishing with social reproduction. In doing so, the article identifies the conflictual social property relations at work, as well as how these are shaped by different institutional variables. It thus explores the dilemmas that residential accumulation poses for the governance of urban social formations – and, crucially, of capitalism more broadly.
Moreno Zacarés, J. (in press). Residential Accumulation: A Political Economy Framework. Housing, Theory and Society,