The Real Estate / Financial Complex

Montag, 17.06.2013 – 18 h // Dr. Manuel Aalbers, University of Leuven

Real estate and finance were at the roots of the global economic crisis that started in 2007 and continues to drag on. The connections between real estate (both residential and non-residential), finance and states still remain under-researched and under-theorized. A subset of economics has focused on real estate finance, but generally their models are too abstracted in the eyes of other social scientists and state institutions are either ignored or seen as frustrating the market mechanism. To further our understanding of the connections between real estate, finance and states, we therefore need to pay more attention to scale and politics. Alternatively, we look for inspiration in the interdisciplinary fields of political economy and urban studies. We not only need a stronger connection between finance and real estate, we also need a stronger connection between these two fields and the different scales they study: local/urban, national and global. I here propose a new metaphor that can help us to centre attention on the connections between real estate, finance and states: the real estate/financial complex, akin the military/industrial complex. Like the military/industrial complex, the real estate/financial complex should be seen as triangles since states and their many institutions are also part of the equation. Despite discourses of withdrawing states, absent states and failed states, the hand of the state in its many guises is visible everywhere in real estate, finance and its connections.

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Think & Drink Kolloquium
im ISW Raum 002
Universitätsstraße 3b
10117 Berlin
Lehrbereich Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie und
Georg-Simmel-Zentrum für Metropolenforschung

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