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Resisting devaluation: Foreclosure, eminent domain law, and the geographical political economy of risk
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research. Uppsala Univ, S-75120 Uppsala, Sweden..
Hofstra Univ, Hempstead, NY 11550 USA..
2016 (English)In: Environment and planning A, ISSN 0308-518X, E-ISSN 1472-3409, Vol. 48, no 3, 485-503 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

This article examines recent plans for US municipalities to use the state legal power of eminent domain to forcibly acquire underwater mortgages (i.e. those with negative equity), and to refinance them on terms more favorable to the homeowners in question, as a way of addressing in a socially progressive way the nation's ongoing foreclosure crisis. The article makes three main arguments. The first is that insofar as the plan threatens to disrupt prevailing norms of value distribution and risk bearing, it represents a fundamental challenge to the existing political economy of urban financial capitalism in the US and the law's mediation thereof. The second is that value, risk, and their mediation through law must be understood in the context of geographical unevenness and shifting scales of legal governance. The third is that the geographical political economy associated with the eminent domain plan is about discoursesof risk, of markets, and indeed of law per seno less than materialities; and that the two are indelibly linked, with discourses having material effects when, through law, they structure value and risk for the manifold actors who operate within the sphere of housing finance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 48, no 3, 485-503 p.
Keyword [en]
Value, risk, housing, mortgages, foreclosure
National Category
Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282292DOI: 10.1177/0308518X15610579ISI: 000371081300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-282292DiVA: diva2:916907
Available from: 2016-04-05 Created: 2016-04-05 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Christophers, Brett

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