The involvement of private market actors in the provision of housing has had dire consequences for the basic rights of many—and vulnerable communities in particular. In this lecture, part of Toolkit for Today: Legalities for Living, Brenna Bhandar explores the idea of “organized state abandonment” in relation to UK government policy as it relates to the regulation of housing, using the Grenfell Tower tragedy as a point of departure. In the 1990s, management guru Peter Drucker used the term “organized abandonment” in Post-Capitalist Society to describe what organizations in the new “knowledge economy” needed to do in order to effectively manage and plan for change. This concept has been taken up and critically transformed by Ruth Wilson Gilmore, among others, as a way to understand how a range of institutions and organizations, both public and private, operate to further the objective of private profit at great cost to marginalized communities.
Brenna Bhandar is an Associate Professor in Law at UBC, Vancouver. She is the author of Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land and Racial Regimes of Ownership (DUP: 2018) and co-editor (with Rafeef Ziadah) of Revolutionary Feminisms: Conversations on Collective Action and Radical Thought (Verso: 2020).
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