Accepted paper:

Taking back what is "ours": ideological ambiguities and capacity-building in housing mortgage debtors' struggles under Hungary's newly nationalizing financial regime

Authors:

Agnes Gagyi (University of Gothenburg)
Natasa Szabó (Central European University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper traces how mortgage debtors' struggles around housing as private property relate to multiple scales of exploitative relations mediated by a newly nationalizing financial regime in Hungary.

Paper long abstract:

Instead of a direct relationship between transnational financialization and local neoliberal regimes, post-crisis forms of extraction and dispossession in Hungary are happening under a new conservative regime, which combines an ideological agenda on "taking back" Hungarian wealth from international capital with a state-based program for the development of national capital. The paper analyzes the role of finance in this political economic assemblage which struggles to broaden national capital's maneuver space within hierarchical relations of dependent world-market integration. We point out how this assemblage relates to the production of new meanings of public/private ownership in the regime's communication apparatus, with a focus on the relation between housing mortgage policies and nationalizations in the banking sphere. Against that background, the paper addresses the way debtors' struggles maneuver relations of material, legal and symbolic hegemony in their struggle against dispossession. Tracing the ambivalent relations through which capacities for symbolic, legal and material struggles are produced around the issue of housing as private property, vis-a-vis multiple scales of exploitative relations mediated and represented by the legal and symbolic facade of the Hungarian state, we develop a conceptualization of the public/private controversy in its relation to the role of national political hegemony in the contemporary transnational capitalist process.

panel P012
Ideologies of dispossession along the private/public conundrum [Anthropology of Economy Network]