This thesis argues that national housing policy has evolved as a crisis management strategy designed for capital rather than to address the housing needs of the working class. I employ Gramsci’s ‘passive revolution’ in an attempt to show that state intervention in housing mediates the contradictions of capital by restoring the balance of class forces and transforming housing from a ‘public good’ into an ‘investment’ in order to ensure the conditions of accumulation in the housing sector. By analyzing the historical development of the federal government’s housing policy through three phases – the interwar and the postwar regime from 1919-1975, the neoliberal regime from 1975-2008, and the global regime from 2008-2019 – I argue that the chief characteristics of each policy regime were shaped by the instances of passive revolution through which the state reorganizes the regime of accumulation and submerges class conflict. The findings conclude that globalization has rendered national level policies ineffective for managing the global contradictions that define the current housing crisis.
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Thesis advisor: Teeple, Gary
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