Is There a Core-semiperiphery Division in Housing?
Applying World-systems Theory in European Comparative Housing Research
Theories conceptualizing the Southern European, and the Central and Eastern European housing systems (SEHS and CEEHS) are dominated by approaches explaining the ostensibly similar development of the two regions by distinct region-specific path dependencies. Applying world-systems theory to comparative housing studies, the article proposes an alternative approach by suggesting SEHS and CEEHS bear resemblance due to their shared semiperipheral position in the world economy. Cluster analysis performed on indicators of semiperipherality in EU member states confirms CEEHS, SEHS and Ireland exhibit similarly low values of de-commodification; but high values of familialization of housing, semiproletarianization of the workforce and lenient regulation, compared to the core region of North-Western Europe. Case studies of self-build in the postwar decades in Athens and Budapest indicate CEEHS is likely to have resembled the Mediterranean in the significance of semiproletarianization, familialism and lenient regulation during state socialism more than it is currently suggested in the literature.