Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

International Sociological Association - RC 43 Conference 2013- At home in the housing market

July 10-12, 2013, Amsterdam



Organized by the Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands 


It is no coincidence that the theme of ‘at home in the housing market’ was chosen for a conference in Amsterdam. This is a particularly fascinating location for the study of housing and the built environment, and in particular the privatization of the home and the neoliberalization of the housing sector.

Historically, in addition to the imposing canal houses dating back the 17th century, Amsterdam is the home of its own school of brick expressionist architecture, which thrived in the early twentieth century along with a remarkable extension of neighborhood housing.

The majority of housing built then was social rental housing, designed and constructed for both low- and often middle-income households. Indeed, as recently as the mid-1990s almost three in five Amsterdam homes were being rented out by non-profit social housing corporations.

Recent decades however have seen some significant transformations in norms, practices and regulations surrounding housing, and since 2000 the intensified privatization of the national housing stock has been a government priority.

In Amsterdam the owner-occupied sector increased from less than 10 per cent of all housing in 1980 to 31 per cent by 2010.  Since the Global Financial Crisis the housing market has suffered, helping justify further retrenchment in social forms of housing and far-reaching plans to sell off large parts of the social sector. Housing in Amsterdam is increasingly being privatized and marketized, which is having an irrevocable effect on households, housing careers, the built environment and patterns of socioeconomic and neighborhood inequality.   

Aim of the conference 

This three day conference will cover a broad range of topics related to housing and transformations in the built environment, with countries and cases represented from as far afield as Brazil, Australia, Nigeria and Japan. 

It constitutes a special moment at which to engage with issues surrounding the financialization of home, the globalization of mortgage markets and the retrenchment of social housing policy. These processes have been at the driving edge of broader social, economic, and political changes that led us to the brink of global economic collapse in 2008 and have facilitated the deep restructuring of housing, market and welfare regimes since.

The conference follows on from recent successful RC43 meetings in Glasgow in 2009, Gothenburg in 2010 and Buenos Aires in 2012. Next year we pass the baton on to Yokohama, which will be hosting the World Congress for the ISA. 

Programme book and abstracts



Research Committee on Housing and the Built Environment
of the International Sociological Association

Published by  AISSR

5 June 2015