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The Politics of Crisis: Deconstructing the Dominant Narratives of the Housing Crisis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Julia Heslop, Dr Emma OrmerodORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper considers how dominant narratives of the housing crisis, since the 2008 banking crisis in England, have been created, and what actions taken in its name. The paper deconstructs the term ‘crisis’, highlighting that its meaning has evolved from a critical moment to a protracted narrative which must be understood historically. Through discourse analysis into housing and party political policy, media and think tank reports, we argue that the employment of housing crisis by the government and others perceives it as an outcome of housing supply constraints and over-regulation – narratives that have justified subsequent policy actions aimed at propping up the housing and financial systems, opening new avenues for housing commodification, deregulation and financialisation andreproducing crisis anew. However, we note that these narratives can also breakdown and space can be created for the articulation of new narratives which refocus housing crises as emerging from inequality and class divisions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heslop J, Ormerod E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Antipode

Year: 2020

Volume: 52

Issue: 1

Pages: 145-163

Print publication date: 01/01/2020

Online publication date: 03/11/2019

Acceptance date: 11/08/2019

Date deposited: 27/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0066-4812

ISSN (electronic): 1467-8330

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/anti.12585


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