Housing and Theory


Julie Lawson
Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Australia

Hannu Ruonavaara
University of Turku, Finland

Central theme
Develop, discuss and debate the theoretical contribution of ENHR members research. Contributions that progress theoretical and related methodological debates in housing research across the social, cultural, economic and behavioural sciences are welcome. The key criterion for involvement is explicit engagement with theoretical critique and development.
We also invite theoretically informed papers that engage with the theme of each ENHR conference.

Activities in 2022

Future plans and activities
A workshop at the Poland ENHR conference in 2023 is planned, inviting papers from researchers across Europe to focus on the theoretical aspects related to the theme of this conference (when announced).
The co-ordinators will also support relevant WG events outside the main conference, at various centres of theoretical excellence across Europe and beyond, such as IBF and Glasgow University and potentially in collaboration with the UAA, as part of the ENHR MOU.
The co-ordinators of the working group also encourage the publication of papers, and their promotion through the podcast HousingJournal.

Policy implications

Over the past five years (2018-2022) the co-ordinators have organised four workshop meetings at each of the main ENHR conferences (in Uppsala, Athens, Nicosia and Barcelona), generating over 50 papers. They have concerned a wide variety of theoretical perspectives: actor network theories, critical realist ontology, land rent theory, housing regimes, capabilities approach, philosophical theories of justice and assemblage theory to name a few.

It is important that community of interest amongst members in theoretical debates in housing studies will be strengthened and retained alongside and in co-operation with other relevant global networks such as RC43, RC21, given ENHR’s core networking role within Europe.

The working group is actively supported by the editorial board of the journal Housing Theory and Society, which has mentored and published several of the papers featured in the workshops.