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Redistributing nationalized housing: Impacts on property patterns in Timişoara, Romania
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2004 (English)In: Eurasian geography and economics, ISSN 1538-7216, Vol. 45, no 2, 134-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A Swedish geographer maps different types of re-privatization and their effects on ethnic and socio-economic property patterns in Timişoara, a relatively large urban center (ca. 334,000 inhabitants) in western Romania in which pre-socialist ownership was predominantly multi-ethnic. The study is based on an extensive survey conducted in 2003 covering 524 blocks of apartments that were nationalized during the socialist period, with one apartment in each block being studied in detail. The article focuses special attention on the practice of the restitution of nationalized housing to former owners, in an analysis based on interviews with the local and regional officials in Timişoara.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 45, no 2, 134-156 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92328DOI: 10.2747/1538-7216.45.2.134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92328DiVA: diva2:165362
Available from: 2004-11-03 Created: 2004-11-03 Last updated: 2013-06-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Property fragmentation: Redistribution of land and housing during the Romanian democratisation process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Property fragmentation: Redistribution of land and housing during the Romanian democratisation process
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the context of democratisation in the early 1990s, the governments in Central and East Europe (CEE) had to decide how to deal with property that had been confiscated under state socialism. Nationalised housing and collectivised land were to a varying extent returned to former owners and their heirs by means of restitution, as well as being distributed to other citizens who were in possession of the users’ rights to such properties.

This thesis examines the spatial impacts, in terms of ownership patterns, of the way the redistribution of nationalised housing and collectivised land has been dealt with politically and at the local level in post-socialist Romania. It also locates the Romanian property reforms in relation to those of the rest of CEE. The impact of political directives on the property redistribution is analysed in relation to both structural influences, such as democratisation and antecedent property regimes, and implementation patterns in varied place-contexts. The thesis demonstrates that restitution was stifled due to disagreements between leftist and rightist political blocs, with the latter arguing for restitution whilst their opponents wrote the first restitution laws. A re-privatisation law allowed for the public sale of nationalised housing to tenants and thereby blocked the implementation of a restitution law, thus constituting a dilemma for constitutional democracy. In liberal place-contexts in West Romania, these obstacles to housing restitution were in part avoided. By contrast, land restitution was most widespread in the east, a stronghold of the left. This was because the legislation gives priority to restitution in areas of this kind, where smaller land-holdings dominated prior to 1945. The left-wing government pursued an electoral strategy of distributing small properties to a large number of citizens, and to current users in particular. This resulted in a fragmentation of historical property.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen, 2004. 78 p.
Geografiska regionstudier, ISSN 0431-2023 ; 60
Social and economic geography, Romania, restitution, re-privatisation, democratisation, political geography, Kulturgeografi
National Category
Human Geography
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4646 (URN)91-506-1777-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-11-26, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2004-11-03 Created: 2004-11-03 Last updated: 2011-06-20Bibliographically approved

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