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The Commodification Gap

Gentrification and Public Policy in London, Berlin and St. Petersburg

Bernt, Matthias

Studies in Urban and Social Change

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1. Auflage Mai 2022
272 Seiten, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-60304-7
John Wiley & Sons

Kurzbeschreibung

In The Commodification Gap: Gentrification and Public Policy in London, Berlin and St. Petersburg, distinguished sociologist and political scientist Matthias Bernt delivers an insightful institutionalist perspective on the field of gentrification studies.

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THE COMMODIFICATION GAP

'In an elegant and careful theoretical analysis, this book demonstrates how gentrification is always entwined with institutions and distinctive contextual processes. Matthias Bernt develops a new concept, the "commodification gap", which is tested in three richly researched cases. With this, the concept of gentrification becomes a multiplicity and the possibility of conversations across different urban contexts is expanded. A richly rewarding read!'

--Jennifer Robinson, Professor of Human Geography, University College London, UK

'Urban studies has reached a stalemate of universalism versus particularism. Matthias Bernt is breaking out of this deadlock by being very precise about what exactly is universal and what is not - and how one can conceptualize both. The Commodity Gap is a key contribution to not only gentrification studies, but also to comparative urbanism and urban studies at large.'

--Manuel B. Aalbers, Division of Geography & Tourism, KU Leuven, Belgium

The Commodification Gap provides an insightful institutionalist perspective on the field of gentrification studies. The book explores the relationship between the operation of gentrification and the institutions underpinning - but also influencing and restricting - it in three neighborhoods in London, Berlin and St. Petersburg. Matthias Bernt demonstrates how different institutional arrangements have resulted in the facilitation, deceleration or alteration of gentrification across time and place.

The book is based on empirical studies conducted in Great Britain, Germany and Russia and contains one of the first-ever English language discussions of gentrification in Germany and Russia. It begins with an examination of the limits of the widely established "rent-gap" theory and proposes the novel concept of the "commodification gap." It then moves on to explore how different institutional contexts in the UK, Germany and Russia have framed the conditions for these gaps to enable gentrification. The Commodification Gap is an indispensable resource for researchers and academics studying human geography, housing studies, urban sociology and spatial planning.

List of Figures

List of Tables

Series Editor's Preface

Preface

1 Introduction

1.1 Gentrification between universality and particularity

1.2 How to compare? Why compare?

1.3 Concepts and causation

1.4 Design of this study

2 Why the "rent gap" isn't enough

2.1 Where the "rent gap" works well

2.2 Where the "rent gap" falls short

2.3 Embedding gentrification

2.3.1 Economy, society, and states

2.3.2 The commodification gap

3 Three countries, three housing systems

3.1 The British experience

3.1.1 From private landlordism to a dual market

3.1.2 The Thatcherite revolution

3.1.3 New Labour: More of the same?

3.1.4 Austerity and new "class war conservatism" under the Coalition government

3.1.5 Conclusion: Neoliberalism, tenurial transformation, and gentrification

3.2 The German experience

3.2.1 From the controlled housing economy to the Lücke Plan

3.2.2 The design of tenant protections

3.2.3 The conservative Wende

3.2.4 Reunification and neoliberal consensus

3.2.5 Conclusion: Gentrification between regulation and deregulation

3.3 The Russian experience

3.3.1 Housing in the Soviet Union

3.3.2 From shock therapy to failing markets

3.3.3 Restricted state capacities and opportunity planning

3.3.4 Conclusion: Gentrification in a dysfunctional market

3.4 State intervention in housing: Setting the parameters for gentrification

4 Barnsbury: Gentrification and the policies of tenure

4.1 The "making" of early gentrification

4.2 The "Right to Buy:" Pouring oil into a fire

4.3 The new economy of gentrification

4.4 From "value gap" to super-gentrification

5 Prenzlauer Berg: Gentrification between regulation and deregulation

5.1 From plan to market

5.2 Rolling out the market, weakening public control

5.3 Since 2000: Privately financed refurbishments, condo boom, and no regulation

5.4 New build gentrification and "energy efficient" displacement

5.5 Between deregulation and re-regulation

5.6 Gentrification with brakes?

6 Splintered gentrification: St. Petersburg, Russia

6.1 Unpredictable regeneration schemes

6.2 World Heritage vs gentrification

6.3 The dissolution of kommunalki flats

6.4 State-run repair and renewal

6.5 Pro and contra gentrification

7 The "commodification gap"

7.1 Universality vs. particularity revisited

7.2 Gentrification and decommodification

7.3 Meeting the challenge: New directions for research and politics

Appendix

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

References
'In an elegant and careful theoretical analysis, this book demonstrates how gentrification is always entwined with institutions and distinctive contextual processes. Matthias Bernt develops a new concept, the "commodification gap", which is tested in three richly researched cases. With this, the concept of gentrification becomes a multiplicity and the possibility of conversations across different urban contexts is expanded. A richly rewarding read!'
Jennifer Robinson, Professor of Human Geography, University College London, UK

'Urban studies has reached a stalemate of universalism versus particularism. Matthias Bernt is breaking out of this deadlock by being very precise about what exactly is universal and what is not - and how one can conceptualize both. The Commodity Gap is a key contribution to not only gentrification studies, but also to comparative urbanism and urban studies at large.'
Manuel B. Aalbers, Division of Geography & Tourism, KU Leuven, Belgium
Matthias Bernt is a sociologist and political scientist who works as a Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space in Erkner, Germany. He is also Adjunct Professor at Humboldt University in Berlin. His research focuses on the interrelations between urban development and urban governance.