(2018) Urban emptiness, ghost owners and squatters’ challenges to private property

Friday 17 August 2018, by Miguel Angel Martinez

All the versions of this article: [English]

Martínez, Miguel (2018) "Urban emptiness, ghost owners and squatters’ challenges to private property" In Hojer, M. et al. (eds.) Contested Property Claims. What Disagreement Tells Us About Ownership, Abingdon: Routledge.

This chapter explores the legitimation strategies that political squatters use to justify their occupation of property they do not own and how those strategies often ‘soften’ what could otherwise have been a more radical anti-capitalist stance. Taking a starting point in empirical work done on Spanish squatting and focusing in the latter half on the housing struggles after the financial crisis and the emergence of strong housing movements, the chapter discusses the ambivalences and strategies of squatters both needing a place to live and trying to translate that need into a broader political and economic critique not only of housing but of the capitalist system. The chapter contributes to the squatter literature and to the discussion of the legitimation strategies of peoples and groups challenging the prevailing property regimes.