Comparing the causal mechanisms underlying housing networks over time and space

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1 Cmparing the causal mechanisms underlying husing netwrks ver time and space Julie Lawsn Amsterdam Centre fr the Metrplitan Envirnment University f Amsterdam Nieuwe Prinsengracht VZ Amsterdam Tel Fax

2 Cmparing the causal mechanisms underlying husing netwrks ver time and space Julie Lawsn, AME, University f Amsterdam Abstract This paper cncerns the ntlgy and epistemlgy f cmparative research, which are the fundatins f a research strategy. It builds upn a Realist ntlgy (Bhaskar, 1975, 1979; Sayer, 1984,1985, 2000; Lawsn, 1997, 1999) f necessary and cntingent relatins frming causal mechanisms, in rder t extend existing framewrks fr explaining difference and change in husing netwrks. Husing netwrks are perceived as interactive, pen systems f agents bund by underlying necessary relatins, subject t ever-present cntingent relatins, their wn individual agency and path-dependent behaviur. Unique clusters f necessary and cntingent relatins underlie interacting realms f the husing netwrk, which generate tendencies fr certain tenure divisins, prperty rights, systems f credit prvisin, husing prductin and urban frm. Specifically, the paper cncretises these cncepts and defines causal clusters thrugh the use f illustrative examples. It is argued that explanatry research requires the cmparisn and cntrast f these clusters ver time and space, rather than nly key husing events r experiences f them. Labrius, cncrete, histrical research is required t reach sphisticated, multi-causal explanatins fr the differences between and changes within husing netwrks. Such a prcess shuld be infrmed by an explicit ntlgical and epistemlgical package. A Realist-retrductive research strategy aims t identify and cntrast the unique causal clusters f scial relatins underlying husing utcmes, which exist in the cntext f specific lcal cntingencies. Amngst thers, significant clustering f scial relatins surrunding the supply f land fr residential develpment, system f credit prvisin fr credit fr husing prductin and welfare relatins influencing the cnsumptin f husing services. These relatins have a cmbined influence upn investment, prductin, cnsumptin and exchange f husing services. Uniquely defined, these clusters f relatins prmte divergent husing tenures and urban frms. T test and revise this pstulated mdel, tw case studies are prpsed in the Netherlands and Australia. Key wrds Cmparative methdlgies, scial relatins, critical realism, risk, trust 1. Intrductin Internatinal cmparisns f husing and urban phenmena are undertaken fr a variety f reasns. These include plicy develpment, prblem evaluatin, testing f theries, r develpment f new explanatins. The purpse f cmparative research shuld crrespnd with the type f cnclusins sught: describing, evaluating, suggesting actins r explaining the tpic f interest. Sme studies may demand a cmbinatin f aims and utcmes; fr example, that research be bth evaluative and actin rientated. 2

3 Whilst the purpse f cmparative research may be easy t define r discern, the ntlgy and epistemlgical prcess tends t be far less explicit. The attractiveness and curisity f internatinal research ften vershadws the difficulties f tackling mre cmplex issues such as the fcus f cmparisn, ratinale fr case selectin, the time perid t be analysed, the uniqueness f institutins and the path dependency f husing and urban phenmena. At the methdlgical level, there are a number f cherent packages f ntlgy and epistemlgy that help t clarify the cmparative research strategy. These include psitivist deductin, interpretive abstractin, and realist retrductin. Cnscius selectin f such a package is imprtant, as the chice determines the bject r level f cmparisn. The fcus and subsequent cmparative analysis f cases may rest upn bservable regularities, patterns f behaviur r events, scially cnstructed meanings, underlying scial relatins r causal mechanisms. Tgether the purpse, the desired utcme, lgic and bject f research shapes the entire design f the crss-natinal cmparative research strategy. An imprtant phase f any cmparative strategy is the develpment f a clear, albeit preliminary cnceptualisatin f the endgenus relatins relevant t the phenmenn under research and an appreciatin f the exgenus relatins, ften described as cntext. Differences and change in husing netwrks are ften simply explained as differences in the endgenus and exgenus relatins. But hw d they interact? What is cntext and hw can it influence difference and change? T answer these questins, much needs t be knwn abut the underlying relatins, embedded institutins, develpment pathways and influential cnditins affecting particular husing systems. Twards this end, imprtant questins include: what des the phenmenn cmprise, what are the underlying relatins between agents perating within its realm, what institutins sustain the phenmenn and influence change? 1.1 Cmparisn f husing slutins This paper cncerns the cmparisn f tw lng established husing slutins represented by different husing tenures and urban frms in Australia and the Netherlands during the 20 th century. The term husing slutin t refers the cherent fit between scial relatins underpinning a husing system and the institutinal netwrks and utcmes prduced. 1 It is cntended that husing slutins in Australia and the Netherlands have emerged frm fundamentally different packaging f prperty, finance and welfare relatins, prmting until recent years distinctive husing chices and living envirnments. Mst Australian husehlds aspire t hme wnership and reside in large, lw-density cities. In the Netherlands, until recent years, scial rental husing was the dminant tenure frm f relatively numerus cmpact twns and cities. Ultimately, the research strategy aims t explain these differences by analysing the distinct packaging f prperty, finance and welfare relatins. This paper fcuses n hw this can be dne. This first sectin f this paper cntends that the mst apprpriate ntlgical basis fr such a strategy is Critical Realism and the crrespnding epistemlgy f retrductin. The basic tenets f Critical Realism are briefly utlined: structured 1 Berry (1998) uses the term in a smewhat lser sense, referring t the lw-density, hme-wnership dminated utcmes f the Australian husing system. 3

4 reality, necessary and cntingent relatins and causal mechanisms. T understand the bservable wrld it is necessary t pstulate and empirically validate the kind f necessary and cntingent relatins that underlie, and tend t influence, actual events and experiences and utcmes f husing systems. T bring the necessary and cntingent relatins t the surface and identify the causal mechanisms at wrk, additinal cncepts must be emplyed. This paper intrduces the ntins f risk and trust. Exchanges between agents in a husing system are cnstantly subjected t risk. Fr a tenant, risk may include lss f incme thrugh sickness r unemplyment. Risks emerge frm the dynamic interactins f relatins underlying a husing system as well as thse that may be cnsidered as utside the husing system. In the cntext f uneven pwer resurces, husing agents cmpete r cllabrate t establish nrms, plicies, cntracts and laws. These cnventins can be perceived as the rganisatin f trust t minimise perceived risks in the husing system. The rganisatin f trust may be sustained r undermined by the pen and dynamic nature f husing netwrks. In the secnd sectin, the cncept f necessary and cntingent relatins underlying husing netwrks is further defined thrugh the use f cncrete examples. It is argued that clusters f cnflicting necessary and cntingent relatins underlie urban frm and husing tenure. These clusters include a number f imprtant scial relatins. Thse f prperty, finance and welfare are further examined. The state plays an integral, mediating and cntested rle in the definitin f these relatins and the structural cherence f the actual husing slutin. Fr this reasn, understanding the institutinalised rle, relatins and resurces f the state is als an integral part f explanatin. Finally, the paper summarises the issues assciated with cmparative research and stresses the need fr a strategy that cmpares clusters f causal mechanisms rather than events r experiences f them. This apprach infrms the selectin f the tw case studies: the Netherlands and Australia. It is cntended that each case study prvides gd illustratin f the significance f different packaging f prperty, finance and welfare relatins upn husing tenure and urban frm. Cmparisn within these case studies demnstrates the sustainability and change f different clusters under dynamic plitical, ecnmic and cultural cntingent cnditins. 1.2 Cnceptualising husing netwrks Despite similar ecnmic and demgraphic trends (Dnnisn 1967, with Ungersn, 1982), husing slutins in cuntries have fundamentally diverged (Kemeny and Lwe, 1998; Glland, 1998; Dling, 1997; Belhuwer and Van der Heijden, 1992). T analyse divergence, varius appraches have been develped t cmpare husing systems and explain the imprtant differences between them. Often implicit and difficult t expse, divergent research strategies can stem frm quite incmpatible ntlgical and epistemlgical fundatins. Differing perceptins f a hw a husing system wrks has led t the emplyment f different categries, fci, framewrks and typlgies fr analysing husing systems. 4

5 Mre explicit and cmprehensive descriptive tls include the chain f prvisin framewrk develped and applied by Ambrse (1991, 1994) which emphasises the wide variety f state, private and vluntary cnfiguratin f agents engaged in the intercnnected stages f husing prmtin, investment, cnstructin, allcatin and maintenance (Ambrse, 1991:41). Similarly, the structure f husing prvisin (SHP) thesis (Ball, 1986, 1988, Ball and Harle, 1992) prvides a meta-tl t explre a diversity f husing netwrks. Ball stresses the need t identify the scial agents invlved in prductin, allcatin, cnsumptin and reprductin relatins f husing (Ball, 1986:160) and their interlinkages (Ball, 1988:29). Sensitivity t the unique relatins f prductin helps the researcher t understand difference. Belhuwer and Van der Heijden (1992) have develped a mre cncrete mdel utlining numerus backgrund factrs, which may influence the structure f the husing market in different cuntries. Lundqvist (1990) has als put frward a useful scheme categrising the variety f interventins fr gvernment t influence husehld incme and dwelling csts. In cntrast t Ambrse and Ball, wh stress the unique nature f husing netwrks, varius typlgies f husing systems have been develped as a basis fr testing theries cncerning the driving frces influencing different husing systems. These include the liberal-crpratist-scial demcratic typlgy and evaluative cmparisn f Barlw and Duncan (1994) and Glland (1998) and Lundqvist s theries f the 'plitical-idelgical and structural-institutinal' relatins underpinning market-state mixes in husing plicy (1989, 1991). Cuntry-specific theries, frm a variety f perspectives, als try t explain the develpment and change f specific husing utcmes. 2 There are imprtant similarities in cntemprary cmparative appraches: many stress the relatinal, multi-dimensinal quality f husing phenmena, the intercnnectedness f husing systems t ther nn-husing phenmena, and the dynamic and shifting nature f husing systems. Debate is mst divisive ver the level f cmparisn, relative causal pwers f particular relatins in a husing system, the directin f change, and the universality f final cnclusins. Cntributing twards this debate, this paper returns t the ntlgical basis f husing systems. Hw d systems f husing prvisin, in different cuntries, actually wrk; what are the structured, cherent relatins that exist between agents, 2 Different explanatins, fr Australia s slutin f hme wnership dminated lw density cities have been prvided by varius researchers, including Badcck (1984), Berry (1983, 1994, 1998), Burassa, Grieg and Try (1995), Burke and Hayward (1990), Castles (1998, 1997, 1994), Daltn, (1999), Frst (1991) with Dingle (1995), Grieg (1999), Halligan and Paris (1984), Hayward (1992, 1997), Kemeny, (1978, 1983), Mullins (1981, 1995), Neutze (1978, 1981), Paris, (1993), Strettn, (1975, 1986), Try (1995, 1990, 1974), Yates (1994, 1997), and Wd (1999) with Bushe-Jnes, (1991, 1990). Als, varius explanatins, with different emphases and fci, f the Dutch slutin f scial rented dwellings in cmpact cities and current changes include: Dieleman (1994), Van der Krabben and Lamby, (1993), Needham, (1997, 1992 et al. 1993), Papa (1992), Prak and Priemus (1992); Priemus (1996, 1992, 1990, with Smith, 1996), Van der Schaar, (1987, 1998, 1999), Steiber (1998), Terhrst and Van de Ven (1997) and Therbrn (1989). 5

6 what is imprtant abut cntext in each cuntry that influences husing utcmes? It is cntended that categrising variables acrss natins can prvide stimulating descriptins but cannt explain difference. Further, typlgies f husing systems may reduce the researcher s sensitivity t the unique cnfiguratin f scial relatins underlying natinal husing slutins and their uneven applicatin acrss regins and lcalities. Explanatin f difference and change requires a deeper level f analysis f the causal mechanisms underlying husing utcmes ver histry and gegraphy. 1.3 The ptential and limitatin f the Structure f Husing Prvisin apprach Over the past decade, a simmering methdlgical debate has divided a number f cmparative husing and urban researchers 3. Ball (1988) remains the mst fervent critic f cmparative research, arguing that it has been descriptive, shallw, plicy fcused, and unable t explain husing in terms f wider ecnmic structures and uneven pwer relatins. His sharpest criticisms have been directed twards the liberal-interventinist view, which pervades sme cmparative husing research. Such research is cnsidered t fcus upn cnsumptin dimensins between tenants and the state, ignring the relatins f prductin and treating state interventin as a mere deviatin frm nrmal market relatins (1988:21-22). Ball prmtes the structure f husing prvisin apprach (SHP) which assumes, in the first instance, that husing systems are "an histrically given prcess f prviding and reprducing the physical entity, husing. He recmmends that researchers fcus n the scial agents essential t the prcess f husing prvisin and the relatins which exist between them (Ball, 1986:158). SHP has been develped and defended by Ball and Harle since the mid -1980s as a tl fr explanatin and cmparisn f husing systems (Ball, 1986, 1988; Ball and Harle, 1992). Hwever, SHP is a meta-tl. It des nt therise r generalise the type f relatins that may exist in a husing system, ther than t suggest the examinatin f brad ecnmic relatins such as the extractin f surplus value thrugh exchange and prductin, and the reprductin f labur pwer thrugh cnsumptin f certain frms f husing. Nr des SHP stress hw differences are established between r within husing systems. Finally, the SHP apprach des nt prvide a clear epistemlgy r clues t distinguish cause frm assciatin in cntext. 2. The prspect f clusters f causal mechanisms the scial relatins, the rle f the state and pwer T build upn the ntlgical fundatins f Ball (1986, 1988, with Harle, 1992) and address the methdlgical deficiencies f SHP, this paper re-interprets and elabrates their apprach using Critical Realist ntlgy and retrductive epistemlgy. It is argued that particular clusters f scial relatins can becme packaged r lcked tgether in cherent, albeit cnflicting, ways. This structural cherence tends t differentiate actual husing netwrks at the base. 3 Cntributrs t this debate include Ball, 1986, 1988; Ball and Harle, 1992; Burne, 1986; Harle, 1991; Harle and Martens, 1983; Kemeny, 1987, 1992; Kemeny and Lwe, 1998; Lundqvist, 1989, 1991; Oxley, 1991; Pickvance 1986; Smmerville, 1994; and van Vliet,

7 Ball tends dwnplay the rle f the state (1988) and emphasise the ecnmic relatins f prductin. Whilst these relatins are imprtant, this research assumes that the state plays an integral rle in regulating such ecnmic relatins. Indeed, the relatins f prperty, finance and welfare play a fundamental rle in defining husing netwrks. Their establishment and develpment is by n means a natural, given r randm prcess, but ne mediated by the state (Jessp, 1990). The state itself is subject t the uneven, ften cnflicting pwer relatins that are cncretised in the fiscal, territrial and demcratic rules f the state (Terhrst and Van de Ven, 1997) and expressed (r suppressed) via infrmal nrms, idelgies, prcesses and practices (Saunders, 1983, Lukes, 1974) Necessary and cntingent relatins an intrductin This sectin elabrates the ntlgy f necessary relatins, cntingent relatins, and clusters f causal mechanisms, which are t be applied t the subsequent study f change and difference in husing utcmes. T begin, explanatins f husing systems infrmed by the philsphy f Critical Realism, are cncerned in a significant way with identifying scial structures and cnditins which gvern, facilitate, r in sme way prduce, actual scial events and states f affairs f interest (Lawsn, T. 1997:192). Necessary relatins infrm ur understanding f the relatinships between agents in a husing netwrk. Different necessary relatins bind tenants t landlrds, landwners t purchasers, brrwers t lenders, and cmmissiners f prjects t builders. Many cmparative studies implicitly assume that relatins between agents in husing systems are the same acrss different cuntries. This is clearly nt the case. We cannt, fr example, apply the same definitin f tenancy t analyse husing cnsumptin in different cuntries (Barlw and Duncan, 1989; Marcuse, 1994). Necessary relatins are nt fixed behaviural laws r predictrs f events. They d nt exist as islated atms in a labratry. Necessary relatins are actualised in the cntext f ther sets f interacting cntingent relatins. Cntingent relatins may influence the actualisatin f a relatin between agents in the husing netwrk. In this way, necessary relatins can nly be regarded as causal in a limited sense. They generate tendencies and prbabilities but cannt directly generate specific events r experiences f them. 7

8 Figure 1 illustrates the basic idea; necessary relatins are defined in the cntext f cntingent relatins. Thus, relatins between agents 1 and 2 are subject t cntingent cnditins. Agent 2 Agent 1 Cntingent relatins Figure 1: The interactin f necessary and cntingent relatins Tgether, necessary and cntingent relatins prvide the fundatins fr explaining particular relatinships underlying husing utcmes. Obviusly they exist in the cntext f ther necessary and cntingent relatins. Their cmbined interactin frms a cluster f causal relatins with the capacity t influence brader husing prcesses and events. Causal clusters underpin cnventins that cnstrain husing utcmes, such as prperty rights, the system f credit prvisin, develpment prmtin and prductin, dwelling allcatin and cnsumptin. Figure 2 illustrates the type f necessary and cntingent relatins in a husing netwrk, which may interact t frm dynamic clusters f causal mechanisms. F C P F= Financial relatins P= Prperty relatins T= Tenure relatins W= Welfare relatins L= Labur relatins C= Prductin relatins L T Necessary relatins W Cntingent relatins Figure 2: Cluster f necessary scial relatins underlying husing netwrks 8

9 Frm a Realist vantage pint, illustrated by Figure 2, SHP is redefined as a cluster f scial relatins that can be pstulated and empirically tested and revised. Clusters f scial relatins, such as thse influencing prperty rights, credit prvisin and welfare assistance, interact with ne anther t influence husing utcmes. Differences within such a cluster may be able t explain key differences in actual husing utcmes. The key t cmparisn, therefre, is t pstulate, revise and cntrast clusters f causal mechanisms in different case studies, twards an explanatin f difference Risk and the rganisatin f trust Whilst husing utcmes are ften bservable and even measurable, their underlying causal relatins are nt. Indeed, analysing the traces emitted by underlying causal mechanisms will nt lead directly t their expsure. Because f the pen, cntingent nature f husing netwrks, there is n direct link between mechanism and utcme. Thus, the link must be pstulated and tested in a cntinual and spiralling prcess knwn as retrductin (Steinmetz, 1998; Lawsn, 1997, Blaikie, 1993; Keat and Urry, 1975; Harré, 1976), twards empirically cmpetitive explanatins (Bhaskar, 1993). As stressed, clusters f scial relatins, as depicted in Figure 2, can nly accunt fr tendencies in husing netwrks. They cannt explain r indeed predict all day-t-day decisins r micr interactins. Indeed, causal mechanisms are, by n accunt, irn laws f individual agency, but they d tend t limit the scpe f pssible actin. Assuming causal mechanisms help define the realm f the pssible in everyday life, clues t their existence can be fund in the realm f experience and perceptin. Twards this end, this research extends and elabrates Critical Realism s definitin f the bservable and actual layers f reality by drawing upn the cncepts f risk and trust. Accrding t Beck, Giddens and Lash (1994) the cncept f risk is: central t mdern culture tday precisely because s much f ur thinking has t be f the 'as if' kind. In mst aspects f ur lives, individual and cllective, we have regularly t cnstruct ptential futures, knwing that such very cnstructin may in fact prevent them frm cming abut. New areas f unpredictability are created quite ften by the very attempts that seek t cntrl them (Beck, Giddens, Lash, 1994:vii). Agents in the husing netwrk make decisins in an pen, dynamic and risky envirnment. Different agents in the husing prcess perceive risks accrding t the necessary relatins t which they are bund. Cntingent relatins pse the risks, which threaten the value f the exchange between agents bund by their necessary relatins. Decisins t save, build, buy, rent r invest are all made (r nt made) in the cntext f cntingent relatins, path-dependent behaviur, and institutinalised cnstraints. Typical risks, which may cnfrnt agents in a husing netwrk, include lss f husehld incme, lss f asset value, shrtage f materials r skilled labur. Everchanging cntingent cnditins imply that risks als change ver time and space. 9

10 Accrding t Schillmeier, "cmpetent actrs perceive, (mis-) interpret and cnstruct their wrld in relatin t the changing sci-plitical cntext" (1999:174). T reduce their expsure t risk, agents may c-perate r cmpete t establish nrms, prcesses, plicies and laws that prvide certainty and security in husing transactins. The fllwing example f tenant-landlrd relatins illustrates the ntin f risk and the rganisatin f trust. A tenant s capacity t pay her rent, in exchange fr the landlrd s accmmdatin, is threatened by her lss f incme. She may sign a cntract, which prtects her frm evictin under such circumstances, r ensure she has access t adequate unemplyment insurance. Alternatively, the landlrd may be able t extract payment f rent frm her remaining assets and emply his right f evictin. The nrms f tenancy are embdied in dminant idelgies, written dwn in cdes f cnduct, plicies and legislatin. These frms f risk-reducing measures are cnceived t be the rganisatin f trust that develps ver time and space. Once again, the basic idea is utlined in abstract terms in Figure 3 belw. Agent 2 Agent 1 OT 1 Risk psing cntingent relatins OT2 OT = Organisatin f trust Figure 3: Risk and the rganisatin f trust. As an utcme f pwer struggles between agents within the husing netwrk, interactins becme regularised and institutinalised, mmentarily fixed in time and space. These institutins r cnventins reduce the chance f unanticipated behaviur and prmte a sense f trust. Trust enables a certain assembly f scial relatins t stabilise and frm an actualised regime. Lng-term regimes cmprise a pattern f nrms, dminant ideas, prcesses and rganisatinal structures. 3 The cncepts applied t husing netwrks This sectin is devted t the elabratin f Figures 1-3. It summarises the scial relatins that may cntribute t husing netwrks, the type f risks agents perceive and the trust-enhancing nrms, prcesses, and rganisatinal utcmes that may emerge ver time. 3.1 Scial relatins in the husing netwrk 10

11 It is cntended that husing netwrks are characterised by similar categries f agents instutinalised, rganised and bund tgether in unique ways. Cmmn categries f husing agents include: tenants, landlrds, laburers, materials prviders, builders and prject designers, financiers, land wners and purchasers, lcal and central rgans f the state, including gvernment agencies, religius rganisatins, representative r authritative institutins. In cncert with cntingent relatins, individual agency and path-dependent behaviur, the relatins between these agents generate differences between and changes within husing netwrks in different cuntries. There are n standard definitins f necessary relatins applicable t all time and space. This is nt a deficiency but the recgnitin f the "pen and ntlgically stratified structure f reality (bth natural and scial) utside the experimental labratry" (Steinmetz, 1998:174). Fr this reasn, cncrete histrical case study research is a necessary part f the explanatry prcess. The fllwing paragraphs explre the necessary relatins f prperty, finance and welfare t demnstrate hw necessary relatins f prductin, exchange and cnsumptin can be differently defined under diverse cntingent cnditins, emitting a variety f risks fr different agents. Further, trust can als be rganised and established in a variety f ways. Examples f risk reducing nrms, dminant idelgies, and rganisatinal strategies, which may emerge, are als prvided. Prperty rights can be perceived as abstract scial relatins between peple, rather than cncrete things, which define the liberties, benefits and csts assciated with the wnership and exchange f scarce, useable gds. Prperty rights imply nrms f behaviur between peple with respect t wnership, trespass, usage, capturing the benefits frm that usage, as well as the right t redevelp the prperty r transfer it t anther party. In Western scieties, such rights are cmmnly expressed in law and enfrced by legal authrity (Pejvich, 1990: 27). The prperty relatins underpinning the residential develpment f a city, regin r natin play an imprtant rle in the frm and distributin f husing utcmes (Badcck, 1984). They help define the right f pssessin, use r develpment rights, and may specify hw the rewards r csts f ccupatin, use r exchange shuld be allcated. A number f cntingent relatins may influence the actualisatin f prperty relatins between wners f land and residential develpers, as listed belw. Cntingent relatins influencing the definitin f prperty rights may include: Lcatin f land, accessibility t end users, existence f related infrastructure. Certainty and flexibility f land use r zning rights: relative value f existing and ptential uses. Cst f develping land, availability f materials, suitability fr develpment. Csts assciated with land hlding: taxes, levies, maintenance r transferring prperty rights. Exclusivity f land title: undisputed wnership r threat f repssessin. Land value: inflating, stable r deflating. 11

12 Cmpetitin, cllabratin, r mnply psitin f landwners r purchasers. A secure, lng-term methd f financing purchases. Capacity t repay the lan, the prspects f return and rising land value. Risk-reducing strategies may include: Clear system f land survey, legally enfrceable system f wnership, undisputed ccupatin rights. Right f cmpulsry purchase r repssessin t meet public interest gals. Laws permitting the cllectin f betterment tax fr unearned increment in prperty values. Efficient and cst-effective system fr transferring wnership. Price regulatin, cmpensatin based n frmer usage. State-subsidised infrastructure prvisin. Land use planning clearly defined, lng term, and prtective f prperty values. Mnply selling r buying strategies. Maximising frmal and infrmal influence upn land use defining agents. Whilst fundamental t the system f husing prvisin, prperty relatins d nt exclusively define husing tenure and urban frm. The financial relatins f husing prvisin als play an integral and influential rle in husing utcmes. Husing is cstly t prduce. Develpers and purchasers f husing, whether they are vluntary, private r state institutins, ften require the use the brrwed capital t purchase land and materials; r the labur required in rder t cmplete, maintain r refurbish a particular dwelling. In return fr capital, the lender r investrs (jint venture partners, gvernments, public banks, retail banks, freign banks, building scieties, merchant banks, insurance cmpanies and pensin funds) will require a defined schedule f instalments r dividends. A wide range f cntingent relatins, as indicated belw, defines the actual prcesses f husing credit prvisin. Cntingent relatins influencing the definitin f financial relatins may include: Existence f lenders ffering favurable terms and cnditins. Cmpetitin, cllabratin r mnplisatin f credit prviders fr particular segments f the husing market. Lending criteria, prtfli plicies, services ffered and territry f peratin. Risk-return rati f husing investment relative t ther frms f investment, influencing the vlume f credit available. Desired liquidity and mbility f investment. Perceived credit wrthiness f brrwer, existence f desired security. Existence f a range f financial prducts prviding brrwers with a cmpetitive chice. Degree f integratin f lenders with ther cmpnents f the husing netwrk such as mrtgage lending, land banking, infrastructure investment, residential cnstructin, retail develpment, etc. Risk-reducing strategies may include: 12

13 Techniques fr assessing risk and risk-aviding cnventins. Prmtin f certain financial management nrms, values, prcesses and standards. Prmtin f practices supprtive f maximising f prperty values and rents. Right f repssessin ver the prperty r ther assets f the brrwer. Demand an equity share in the develpment r defined share f the prfits. Security funds t prtect investrs frm defaulting brrwers. Gvernment plicy regulating system f credit prvisin. Crss-natinal treaties defining the glbal brrwing limits f gvernments. Subsidies t channel investment int particular sectrs. Mutually reinfrcing lending strategies, land banking, r cmpany directrships. The way husing is cnsumed nt nly relates t prperty r financial relatins, but als t the system f welfare prvisin affecting the cnsumptin f husing services, which emerges ver a lng perid f time (Castles, 1998, 1988; Kemeny, 1992; Therbrn, 1989). Family members, scial netwrks, the wider cmmunity, as well as private, vluntary r state institutins may prvide husing assistance (Kemeny, 1992). As indicated belw, a wide range f cntingent, exgenus relatins may influence the system f welfare and ultimately husing cnsumptin. Cntingent relatins influencing the definitin f welfare relatins may include: Ecnmic value f skills pssessed by members f husehld as determined by the labur market r prescribed by the state. Gender relatins within a husehld allcating participatin in paid wrk. Ecnmic relatins within the husehld and wider cmmunity netwrks. Existing labur market nrms, including discriminatin against lder men, migrants r married wmen in times f jb scarcity. Infrmal r frmal supprt services, such as affrdable r free child-care. Ecnmic plicies f gvernment regulating jb grwth, wage levels; such trade- ffs and cnditins influence the ability f husehlds t cnsume certain husing services. Rle f labur rganisatins in prmting certain frms f husing prductin and services. System f scial security, which may r may nt cver nging husing expenses pst retirement. Rle f welfare rganisatins in diverting cllective resurces t r away frm husing-related supprt r frms f prvisin. Risk-reducing strategies may include: Wage indexatin and accrds t regulate incme levels and wrking cnditins. Incme transfers t maintain a certain level f purchasing pwer amngst husehlds. Husing allwances t assist payment f husing csts. Rent regulatins t reduce r sustain a certain level f husing csts. Lan insurance t reduce risk t lender and permit lw-incme husehlds t brrw with limited depsit. 13

14 The abve selectin f relatins-- prperty, financial and welfare-- as well as their cntingencies and risk reducing strategies, shuld nt be perceived as an exclusive, islated r fixed set f relatins. As stressed in the previus sectin, clusters f cnflicting necessary and cntingent relatins underlie urban frm, the rganisatin f husing prductin and the type f husing services cnsumed. Further, as illustrated abve, the state plays an integral and cntested rle in the definitin f these relatins. Fr this reasn, analysing the rle f the state is an imprtant element f explaining change and difference in husing systems Cmparing husing netwrks the level f cmparisn As stressed thrughut this paper, a well-develped ntlgy f husing systems prvides an imprtant fundatin fr explaining difference. Cmbined with a defined lgic fr gaining further understanding f husing systems, a cherent methdlgical package shuld als infrm the data cllectin and analysis strategy. Infrmed by Critical Realism, husing is perceived in terms f experienced reality, actual husing institutins, and unbservable underlying scial relatins which frm causal clusters f necessary and cntingent relatins. A cmparisn f experiences r perceptins can be a useful starting pint fr mre cmprehensive explanatin. Such studies try t accunt fr differences by analysing the frmative cnstraints influencing perceptin. Such a cmparisn will highlight differences but cannt explain them. At present, event level analysis dminates crss-natinal husing research: cmparing plicies, regulatry mechanisms, allwances, investment levels and management mdels. Given the pragmatic aims f gvernment-cmmissined research, ften with tight time-lines, such research can lead t islated descriptins f current plicies rather than cmprehensive explanatins fr the differences between them. Mre explanatry research shuld prmte the cmparisn f underlying causal mechanisms that generate differences between husing systems (Terhrst and Van de Ven, 1997; Therbrn, 1989; Harle, 1987, 1995, Dickens et al. 1985) and indeed understand why plicy transfusins, frm ne cuntry t anther, are ften rejected by the hst. 3.3 The prblem f time and space Mre reflective academic studies 4 have established a clear trend away frm static, atmistic plicy cmparisns twards mre cntextualised, histrical appraches, which aim t explain difference in husing systems (Burne, 1990). 4 Terhrst and Van de Ven, 1997; Belhuwer and Van der Heijden, 1992; Balchin, 1996; Pwer, 1993; Van Vliet, 1990; Harle, 1987, 1995; Kleinman, 1996; Dnnisn, 1967; Dnnisn and Ungersn,

15 Hwever, cmparative explanatin thrugh analysis f event chrnlgies cntinues t be prblematic. Whilst researchers have recgnised the significance f events and their explanatin in cntext, the treatment f time remains smewhat f a puzzle. The answer lies, nce again, in the level f cmparisn. It is cnsidered helpful t pstulate a feasible preliminary mdel f causal relatins, which uniquely underlie each case fr cmparisn. Packaging (and re-packaging) f causal relatins tends t emerge ver a lng perid f time. Retrductively, this package shuld be pstulated, tested and revised t capture the multi-causal, cntingency basis f husing netwrks (Steinmetz, 1998:174) in time and space. Once a mdel f causality sufficiently explains empirical reality in a single case, cmparisn can be made at the level f causal mechanisms with ther cases. This prcess prmpts the researcher t define what is distinctive abut each cuntry and, in particular, explain why differences have emerged. Thus, cmparisn ver time is a prcess that ccurs within, rather than between, the case studies. It enables the researcher t define the clustering f necessary relatins, the rle f cntingent cnditins and the directin and nature f change. Cmparing patterns f husing events r husing histries, such as plicy develpments, ppulatin grwth, r huse prices is illuminating when the reasns fr difference r change have als been analysed. 4. Prpsed cmparative apprach cmparisn f tw husing slutins The Netherlands and Australia are ften categrised as 'Old' and 'New' Wrld advanced capitalist cuntries, respectively (Castles, 1998), with different mdes f welfare prvisin underpinning their scial and ecnmic develpment. The Netherlands, with its relatively strng welfare state and scial rental husing, is cntrasted with liberal and laissez faire hme-wning cuntries such as Australia. Cntrastive cmparisns are easy t make. Figures cmparing state expenditure, tenure frms and husing subsidies have becme mre widely available with the establishment f multi-natinal, reginal and glbal rganisatins such as the OECD, United Natins, Wrld Bank and Eurpean Cmmissin. Hwever, brad-brush, empirically driven and ften nrmatively based cmparisns tend t plarise and categrise, rather than prvide cnsidered explanatin f difference. The prpsed cmparisn f difference and change in the husing netwrks f the Netherlands and Australia seeks t highlight and explain, rather than merely emphasise the bservable, bvius distinctins. It is cntended that the rts f explanatin can be fund in the unique cnfiguratin f necessary and cntingent relatins present in each cuntry: the underlying package f causal relatins generating distinctive husing netwrks. The purpse f cmparing the Netherlands with Australia is t demnstrate the value f cmparisns that recgnise the structural cherence and embedded-ness f tw distinct husing slutins. It is argued that a unique cluster f prperty, finance and welfare relatins has been mediated by each state in radically different ways in the Netherlands and Australia. 15

16 The Netherlands slutin f scial rental husing and urban cntainment has emerged ver a very lng perid f time. It stems frm the granted rle f municipalities in land allcatin, the rle f the state in subsidising private cnstructin, the fragmentatin f labur relatins and pillarisatin by religius affiliatin, and the strng perceived link between husing csts, wages and internatinal ecnmic cmpetitiveness. In cntrast, the Australian slutin has centred n land speculatin fuelled by the prspect f urban expansin, underpinned by state-financed infrastructure prvisin and, until recently, a prtected circuit f capital supprting affrdable, individual hme wnership fr wrking husehlds. Cnsiderable differences can be fund in several key scial relatins which intersect with the husing systems in bth cuntries, ntably the relatins affecting prperty rights, credit prvisin and welfare cnditins. Fr example, the institutins, prcesses and dminant ideas surrunding prperty rights affecting land use, develpment and urban frm are nticeably different in the Netherlands and Australia. Further, the interactin f labur relatins affecting wages with tenure, welfare and brader ecnmic relatins als differs in significant ways. Clser analysis f the develpment and interactin f these relatinships is cnsidered a fruitful fcus fr research. The study prpses a cmparisn between the shifting husing netwrks f the Netherlands and Australia during the 20th century. The apprach, utlined belw, aims t make a critical cntributin t cnventinal explanatins cntrasting the packaging f necessary relatins that exist in bth cuntries and undertaking detailed research t establish their validity (Harle, 1991: ). The Dutch and Australian husing systems have experienced a number f internal and external influences thrughut their develpment. These influences have been internalised within the husing netwrk in different ways. Their respnses have been anchred t the causal relatins and sustained by path-dependent behaviur. Thus, whilst majr changes may take place, traditinal ideas and prcesses may cntinue (in the shrt r lng term). Analysing this prcess f change and cntrasting varius perids ver time highlights the relative stickiness f particular generative causal mechanisms in each cuntry and prspects fr the future. T highlight the significance and rbustness f causal clusters underlying the different slutins, a lng regime will be examined, which extends frm the turn f the century t the mid-1990s. This perid cvers the establishment, implementatin, acceleratin, decline and repackaging f relatins underpinning distinctive frms f husing tenure and urban frm in each cuntry. During each perid, risk and the rganisatin f trust were spatially and temprally defined and subjected t different institutinalised pwer relatins in each case. Figure 4 utlines the cmparative strategy as fllws. It is pstulated (p) that the necessary scial relatins f welfare (W), finance (F) and prperty (P) have been differently packaged and mediated by the state (S) in the Netherlands (N) and Australia (A). The research prcess analysing the necessary and cntingent relatins underpinning each perid helps t revise and refine (r) the initial pstulated cluster. Cmparisn f these refined clusters is then the basis fr explanatin f difference between the tw case studies. 16

17 FN p Histrical case study analysis FN r S Retrductin S WN p PN p WN r PN r W t0 F t0c0 P t0c0 FA p Histrical case study analysis FA r S Retrductin S WA p PA p WA r PA r Figure 4: The cmparative apprach refining pstulated causal clusters thrugh lngitudinal research and cmparing refined causal clusters as a basis fr explaining difference Having pstulated the causal bundaries influencing the develpment f husing systems in the Netherlands and Australia, it will be pssible t cntend hw these causal clusters may plausibly have influenced the prcesses f husing prmtin prductin, and allcatin within each husing netwrk. In particular, the different psitin and perceptins attached t cmpact scial rental husing and lw-density hme wnership in each husing system can be cntrasted, understd and explained. References Ambrse, P. (1991) The husing prvisin chain as a cmparative analytical framewrk, Scandinavian Husing and Planning Research, 8, Ambrse, P. (1994) Urban Prcess and Pwer, Rutledge, Lndn Badcck, B. (1984) Unfairly Structured Cities, Basil Blackwell, Oxfrd Balchin, P. (1996) Husing plicy in Eurpe, Rutledge, Lndn. Ball, M. (1986) Husing analysis: time fr a theretical refcus?, Husing Studies, 1 (3), Ball, M. (1988) Husing prvisin and cmparative husing research, In: Husing and scial change in Eurpe and the USA (Ball, M, Harle, M. and Martens, M. eds.). Rutledge, New Yrk, pp Ball, M. and Harle, M. (1992) Rhetrical barriers t understanding husing prvisin: what the prvisin thesis is and is nt, Husing Studies, 7 (1), Barlw J. and Duncan, S. (1989) The use f abuse f tenure, Husing Studies 3 (4), Barlw, J. and Duncan, S. (1994) Success and failure in husing prvisin: Eurpean systems cmpared, Pergamn, Oxfrd. 17

18 Beck, U., Giddens, A. and Lash, S. (1994/5) Reflexive mdernizatin: plitics, traditin, and aesthetics in the mdern scial rder, Plity and Stanfrd University Press, Oxfrd. Berry, M. (1983) The Australian city in Histry, In: Urban Plitical Ecnmy (Sandercck, L and Berry, M Eds.), Allen and Unwin, Melburne Berry, M. (1994) The Plitical Ecnmy f Australian cities, In: Suburban Dreaming: an interdisciplinary apprach t Australian Cities (Jhnstn, L. Ed.), Deakin University Press, Geelng Berry, M. (1998) Unravelling the Australian husing slutin: the pst war years, paper presented t the 8 th Internatinal Planning Histry Cnference, University f New Suth Wales, Sydney. Bhaskar, R. (1975) A realist thery f science, The Harvester Press, Brightn. Bhaskar, R. (1979) The pssibility f naturalism: a philsphical critique f the cntemprary human sciences, The Harvester Press, Brightn. Bhaskar, R. (1993) Dialectics: the pulse f freedm, Lndn, Vers. Blaikie, N. (1993) Appraches t scial enquiry, Plity Press, Cambridge. Belhuwer P. and Van der Heijden H. (1992) Husing systems in Eurpe part 1: a cmparative study f husing plicy, Husing and Urban Plicy Studies, Delft University Press, Delft. Burassa, S., Greig, A., Try, P. (1995) The limits f husing plicy: hme wnership in Australia, In: Husing Studies, 10 (1): Burne, L. (1986) Urban plicy research in cmparative perspective: sme pitfalls and ptentials, Tijdschrift vr Ecnmische en Sciale Gegrafie, 77 (3), Burne, L. (1990) Intrductin, In: Internatinal Handbk f Husing plicies and practices (Vliet, W. van, Ed.), Greenwd Press, Westprt, CT, USA. Burke, T. and Hayward, D. (1990) Husing Melburnians fr the next twenty years: prblems prspects and pssibilities, Wrking Paper 4, Department f Planning and Urban Grwth, Melburne Castles, F. (1994) The wage earners welfare state revisited: refurbishing the established mdel f Australian scial prtectin, , In: Australian Jurnal f Scial Issues, 29 (2): Castles, F. (1997) The institutinal design f the Australian Welfare State, In: Internatinal Scial Security Review, 50 (2): Castles, F. (1998) The really big trade ff: hme wnership and the welfare in the new wrld and the ld, In: Acta Plitica, 33 (1): 5-19 Daltn, T. (1999) The Making f Husing Plicy, unpublished PhD thesis, RMIT, Melburne Dickens, P., Duncan, S., Gdwin, M. and Gray, F. (1985) Husing, states and lcalities, Methuen, Lndn and New Yrk. Dieleman, F. (1994) Scial rented husing: Valuable asset r unsustainable burden? In: Urban Studies, 31 (3): Dling, J. (1997) Cmparative husing plicy: gvernment and husing in advanced industrialized cuntries, Macmillan, Basingstke/ St. Martin's Press, New Yrk Dnnisn, D. (1967) The gvernment f husing, Penguin, Hammndswrth Dnnisn, D. and Ungersn, C. (1982) Husing plicy, Penguin, Hammndswrth. Frst, L. (1991) The New Urban Frntier, NSW University Press, Sydney Frst, L. and Dingle, T. (1995) Sustaining Suburbia: an histrical perspective f Australia's urban grwth, In: Australia's Cities: issues, strategies and 18

19 plicies fr urban Australia in the 1990s (Try, P. Ed.), Cambridge University Press, Melburne Glland, A. (1998) Systems f husing supply and husing prductin in Eurpe, Aldersht, Ashgate. Grieg, A. (1999) The Stuff dreams are made f: Husing prvisin in Australia , Melburne University Press, Melburne Halligan, J. and Paris, C. (1984) Australian Urban plitics, Lngman and Cheshire, Melburne Harle M. and Martens, M. (1983) Cmparative husing research, Jurnal f Scial Plicy, 13, Harle, M. (1987) The declining frtunes f scial rented husing in Eurpe, In: Public Husing: Current Trends and Future Develpments, (Clapham, D. and English, J., Eds.) Crm Helm, Lndn, pp Harle, M. (1991) Shrt nte: twards a therized cmparative husing research, Scandinavian Husing and Planning Research, 8, Harle, M. (1994) The scial cnstructin f scial husing, In: Scial rented husing in Eurpe: Plicy tenure and design, (Danermark,B.andElander,I., Eds.), Husing and Urban Plicy Studies, Delft University Press, OTB, Delft. Harle, M. (1995) The peple s hme? Scial rented husing in Eurpe and America, Blackwell, Oxfrd. Harré, R. (1976) The cnstructive rle f mdels, In: The use f mdels in the scial sciences (Cllins, L Ed.), Tavistck, Lndn, pp Hayward, D. (1992) Recnstructing a dream: an analysis f hme wnership in Australia, unpublished PhD thesis, Department f Anthrplgy and Scilgy, Mnash University, Melburne Hayward, D. (1997) The reluctant landlrds? A histry f public husing in Australia, In: Urban Plicy and Research, 14 (1) 5-35 Jessp, B. (1990) State Thery: Putting the Capitalist States in their Place, Plity, Cambridge Keat, R and J. Urry (1975) Scial thery as Science, 2 nd editin, Rutledge and Keagan Paul, Lndn Kemeny J. and Lwe, S. (1998) Schls f cmparative research: frm cnvergence t divergence, Husing Studies, 13 (2), Kemeny, J. (1978) Hme wnership and finance capital, in Jurnal f Australian Plitical Ecnmy, 3 Kemeny, J. (1983) The Great Australian Nightmare, Gergian Huse, Melburne Kemeny, J. (1987) Tward a therised husing studies: a cunter critique f the prvisin thesis, Husing Studies, 2 (4), Kemeny, J. (1992) Husing and Scial Thery, Rutledge, Lndn. Kleinman, M. (1996) Husing, Welfare and the State in Eurpe: cmparative analysis f Britain, France and Germany, Edward Edgar, Cheltenham. Krabben, E. van der and Lamby, J. (1993) A theretical framewrk fr the functining f the Dutch prperty market, In: Urban Studies, Vl.30 (8): Lawsn, T. (1997) Ecnmics and reality, Rutledge, Lndn. Lawsn, T. (1999) Develpments in ecnmics as realist scial thery, In: Critical realism: develpment and debate, (Fleetwd, S., Ed.), Rutledge, Lndn. Lukes, S. (1974) Pwer: a radical view, Macmillan, Lndn 19

20 Lundqvist, L. (1989) Ecnmics, plitics, and husing finance: what determines the chice between privatisatin and cllective redistributin, Scandinavian Husing and Planning Research, 6, Lundqvist, L. (1990) Rlling stnes fr the resurrectin f plicy as the fcus f cmparative husing research, Paper presented t Husing Debates- Urban Challenges Cnference, Paris, 3-6 July Lundqvist, L. (1991) The challenges f cmparative husing plicy research, Scandinavian Husing and Planning Research, 8, Marcuse, P. (1994) Prperty rights, tenures and wnership: twards clarity in cncept, In: Scial rented husing in Eurpe: plicy tenure and design (Danermark, B. and Elander, I., Eds.), Husing and Urban Plicies Studies, 9, Delft University Press. Mullins, P. (1981) Theretical perspective's n Australian urbanisatin: 1 Material cmpnents in the reprductin f Australian Labur Pwer, In: Australian and New Zealand Jurnal f Scilgy Vl. 17 (1): Mullins, P. (1995) Husehlds, Cnsumerism and Metrplitan Develpment, in Australian cities: Issues, Strategies and Plicies fr Urban Australia in the 1990s (Try, P. Ed.), Cambridge University Press, Melburne Needham, B. (1992) A Thery f Land Prices when Land is Supplied Publicly, Urban Studies, Vl. 29: Needham, B. (1997) Windw n the Netherlands: Land Plicy in the Netherlands, in Tijdschrift vr ecnmische en sciale gegraphy, Vl.88 (3): Needham, B., Kruit, B. and P. Kenders (1993) Urban Land and Prperty Markets in the Netherlands, University Cllege Lndn Press, Lndn Neutze, M (1978) Urban Land In: Australian Cities and Public Plicy (Sctt, P. Ed.), Gergian Huse, Melburne Neutze, M. (1981) Urban Develpment in Australia: a descriptive analysis, Gerge Allen and Unwin, Sydney Oxley, M. (1991) The aims and methds f cmparative research, Scandinavian Husing and Planning Research, 9, Papa, O. (1992) Husing Systems in Eurpe, Part II, Husing and urban plicy studies, OTB Research Institute fr Plicy Sciences, Delft University Press, Delft Paris, C. (1993) Husing Australia, Macmillan, Melburne Pejvich, S. (1990) The Ecnmics f Prperty Rights: twards a thery f cmparative systems, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Drdrecht, Bstn, New Yrk Pickvance, C. (1986) Cmparative urban analysis and assumptins abut causality, Internatinal Jurnal f Urban and Reginal Research, 10, 2, Pwer, A. (1993), Hvels t high-rise: state husing in Eurpe since 1850, Rutledge, Lndn. Prak, N. and H. Priemus (1992) The Netherlands, Paper prepared fr the wrking grup n public and scial rented husing wrkshp Origins f the Public and Scial Sectr, held by the Eurpean Netwrk fr Husing Research, The Hague, April 12th, Preimus, H. (1996) Recent Changes in the Scial Rented Sectr in The Netherlands in Urban Studies, 33 (10): Priemus, H. (1992) Scial Rented Husing in The Netherlands: recent plicy changes, financial "independence" and the relatin between tenants and husing 20

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