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International Research Workshop:
The Contested Provisioning of Care and Housing: Insights from Karl Polanyi

The workshop draws on an international research project comparing the provision of care and housing. In contemporary capitalist societies both are undergoing profound changes: on the one hand we are witnessing a market shift towards enforced commodification of care and housing, on the other hand there is a community shift leading to their decommodification. In capitalist societies both, market-, and community-based modes and forms of provisioning of care and housing, are embedded in relations of dominance and inequality as well as their contestation.

Doc-Team Workshop

Karl Polanyi is one of the key inspirations to reflect on contemporary transformations of provisioning of care and housing. The workshop will explore insights from Polanyi by enriching current debates on the transformations of care and housing with four of his concepts:

(1) his substantive understanding of the economy, defined broadly as the organization of livelihoods,

(2) his four economic principles of (market) exchange, reciprocity, redistribution and householding,

(3) his concept of fictitious commodity and the related research on the commodification of goods (like housing) and services (like care) which have not been produced for exchange on markets and

(4) his analysis of a double movement of marketization (movement) and social protection (countermovement) that characterizes market societies.

The workshop deepens these debates by focusing on the following questions:

● What are commonalities and particularities of care and housing regimes in different European cities? How can Polanyian concepts enrich regime analyses?

● What are commonalities and particularities of the double movement, of marketization and social protection in care and housing?

● How does the sector-specific composition of the principles of economic behavior and dynamics of the double movement impact on relations of dominance and inequality as well as their contestation in the field of care and housing?

The workshop strives to bring together experts from both research areas, to exchange perspectives on care and housing and to discuss how Polanyi’s work can inspire the investigation of their contested provisioning.


Datum & Uhrzeit

04.05.2022, 16:00 Uhr

- 06.05.2022, 18:30 Uhr

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WU Wien


JKU Linz, WU Wien