Ordering power? ...

8th Nov 2017

Ordering power? The politics of state-led housing delivery under authoritarianism – the case of Luanda, Angola

A new paper by Sylvia Croese and M Anne Pitcher is now available online.



The urban studies literature has extensively analysed the modernist, developmental or neoliberal drivers of urban restructuring in the global South, but has largely overlooked the ways in which governments, particularly those with authoritarian characteristics, try to reinforce their legitimacy and assert their political authority through the creation of satellite cities and housing developments. From Ethiopia to Singapore, authoritarian regimes have recently provided housing to the middle class and the poor, not only to alleviate housing shortages, or bolster a burgeoning real estate market, but also to ‘order power’ and buy the loyalty of residents. To evaluate the extent to which authoritarian regimes realise their political objectives through housing provision, we survey nearly 300 poor and middle class respondents from three new housing projects in Luanda, Angola. Alongside increasing social and spatial differentiation brought about by state policies, we document unintended beneficiaries of state housing and uneven levels of citizen satisfaction. We explain that internal state contradictions, individual agency and market forces have acted together to re-shape the government’s efforts to order power.


You can access and read the full paper here

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