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A reverse form of welfarism: some reflections on Australian housing policy


Jacobs, K, A reverse form of welfarism: some reflections on Australian housing policy, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 50, (1) pp. 53-68. ISSN 0157-6321 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2014 Australian Social Policy Association

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DOI: doi:10.1002/j.1839-4655.2015.tb00334.x


In this paper I argue that we have been amiss in diagnosing the role played by government, which has exacerbated the housing problems afflicting low-income households in Australia. However, I argue further we have placed too much faith in the capacity of managerial interventions to ameliorate what are far more deep-rooted and systemic challenges. It is suggested that researchers need to adopt a more critical account of the conduct of contemporary government policy making, one that casts aside a view of the State as a benevolent agency whose primary objective is to ameliorate the conditions of the disadvantaged. Instead, the State should be understood as an agency that sustains the conditions necessary for the finance industry, developers and real estate agents, along with well-off householders and landlords, to reap profits. The political economy of Australian housing, in its current incarnation, performs a form of reverse welfarism that exacerbates social inequality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:public housing, Australia, policy process, housing research
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Structure, delivery and resourcing
UTAS Author:Jacobs, K (Professor Keith Jacobs)
ID Code:99964
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-04-21
Last Modified:2016-03-18
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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