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Neoliberalization of housing in Sweden: gentrification, filtering and social polarization

Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 443-463
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Volym: 102
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Taylor & Francis Group


During the last twenty-five years, housing policy in Sweden has radically changed.
Once forming a pillar of the comprehensive welfare system, abbreviated ‘the Swedish model’,
neoliberal housing politics has established market-governed housing provision with a minimum
of state engagement. This shift has had consequences on the social geography of housing
conditions. The research reported here analyzes social geographic change in Sweden’s three
largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, between 1986 and 2001, relating observed
patterns of gentrification and filtering to cycles of accumulation and to neoliberalization of
housing policies. First, we outline the neoliberalization of Swedish housing policies. We then
present an empirical analysis of gentrification and filtering in the three cities, spanning two boom
periods (1986-1991, 1996-2001) and a bust period (1991-1996). The data reveal social
geographic polarization manifested in the growth of super-gentrification and low income
filtering. The analysis also introduces the concept of ordinary gentrification, supporting the move
in gentrification research towards a broad generic conception of the process. Political reforms
after 2001 are summarized and we argue that these are behind the continued increase in
inequality and that the social geographic polarization mapped between 1986 and 2001 has
probably intensified during this decade.



  • Human Geography
  • filtering
  • gentrification
  • housing policy
  • neoliberalism
  • Sweden


  • Forskningsrådet för arbetsliv och socialvetenskap (FAS)
  • ISSN: 0004-5608

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