The Political Economy of Land: Rent, Financialization and Resistance, edited By Mika Hyötyläinen, Robert Beauregard – Routledge, November 2022

The Political Economy of Land: Rent, Financialization and Resistance, edited By Mika Hyötyläinen, Robert Beauregard – Routledge, November 2022

Looks interesting, but that price is terrible, especially given the topic…

Recent years have seen a gathering interest in the importance of real estate development to the growth and development of cities. This has included theoretical work on such topics as land rent and property rights as well as empirical studies on property investments, assetization, securitization, and the effects of changing property values on economic growth and the global status of cities. In the field of urban political economy, attention has turned particularly to the financialization of land and the built environment and to the globalization of property ownership, real estate development, and architectural design. This edited volume brings together a collection of original investigations of the current thinking on three broad themes: the assetization of land and buildings, the relationship of land rent to valuation and speculation in the markets for private and public properties, and the different ways in which land functions as a social relation. In order to ground the discussion, each chapter combines a theoretical perspective with empirical evidence. And, to convey a sense of the global nature of these phenomena, the book includes cases from Finland, India, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, China, and the United States. 

Although its prime goal is to solidify and extend the political economy of land, the book is also a celebration of the Finnish scholar Anne Haila who was a major contributor to this literature and, specifically, to the work of the book’s authors. Prior to her sudden death in 2019, she was a key figure in the discussions that are at the core of the political economy of land: the book, in part, is a public acknowledgement of her contributions.

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1 Response to The Political Economy of Land: Rent, Financialization and Resistance, edited By Mika Hyötyläinen, Robert Beauregard – Routledge, November 2022

  1. leatherpress says:

    ‘Looks interesting, but that price is terrible, especially given the topic…’
    Indeed. Stuart, I’ve lost count how many iterations of this critical issue you’ve made
    recently. It seems no matter though. As a student, independent researcher – meaning funding research from my very poorly paid day jobs – the cost of buying some of the titles you list, is becoming frankly outrageous. Routledge, Wiley, Bloomsbury, most of the US and Canadian UP’s ( Duke, Penn State, et al) are some of the worst offenders, charging in the range of $100 + USD for a hardcover edition. I looked into buying the recent book Spatialising Marcuse ftom Bristol UP… for a paltry 80 GBP. No PB. So I’m advised, by the presses and retailers, buy the PB. Being in Australia, the cost of those for scholarly titles is now 60-80 AUD for, yes, a PB.
    So what to infer from all this? The usual conclusion? Yes the usual. That wanting to be informed, exercising the curiosity needed to be involved in the communication of knowledges, engaging in new ideas and research endeavours is a function of how much you’re willing to pay for the privilege? Are these books only ‘affordable’ to Professors on 6 fig salaries?
    Pricing of books has always been a deeply problematic issue, but since Covid marched into our lives and upended them, these problems have only become more acute for those of us on meagre incomes – or is it chronic and endemic to scholarly publishing. Something about it all stinks and unless the managements of these publishing houses undertake some root and branch reflection on the road to practical reform, more and more people will simply be excluded. Pauperising livelihoods may be the new signatures of these times, but pauperising minds is a very dangerous pathway indeed. Books disseminate ideas and were once a very democratic form for distributing dangerous ideas. It’s not so melodramatic to say cost is now a direct prohibition on that basic principle being circulated. I for one wont be trotting off to the library to borrow these titles. They like the rest of us have never ending austerity to contend with. Cheers.

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