Mobilising for the right to housing: An Actor Network Theory - Approach to Horizontal Organisation in the Wake of the Economic Crisis
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The current global economic crisis has led to an increasing amount of evictions, due to non-payment of mortgage, in Spain. The crisis has also caused a destabilisation of neoliberal power relations, as governments had to intervene in the financial system to prevent the bankruptcy of banks. A result of the crisis in Spain has been an increase of the popularity of social movements as most citizens are now feeling the effects of the crisis and are enraged by government corruption. Stop Desahucios Granada is the local organisation of the movement for the right to housing in Spain. This movement contests the problem of eviction. The main question of this bachelor thesis is: “How does Stop Desahucios Granada contest the power relations involved in the problem of eviction?” The main argument is that, in the process of contestation, Stop Desahucios attempts to mobilise an Actor- Network with the bank and the government, with the objective to solve the problem of eviction and change the current neoliberal political-economic system. The empirical results of the research are based on anthropological fieldwork, during which participant observation, interviewing, and media-discourse analysis have been the most important methods of data collection. The data has been analysed and presented along the lines of the Actor-Network theory. The results show that the mobilisation of the network Stop Desahucios – government – banks is problematic. As the network sometimes at some points in specific instances functions, but never really mobilises. The ‘problematisation’ of eviction, as caused by the neoliberal system, is not accepted by the government and the banks. However, the government and the banks are affected by the social pressure of Stop Desahucios. They do adapt to some of the demands of Stop Desahucios. Members of the movements also have to be convinced that the problem of eviction is caused by the neoliberal system. A socialization process of the members takes place. They realize that they are not alone in the situation of pending eviction, that these evictions are caused by the crisis, and that the neoliberal system has to change for the problem of eviction to be solved. In the process the afectado learns to participate within the organisation and to negotiate with banks about mortgages. In this way the movement effectively counters neoliberal subjectivation within its own organisation.