Human rights on the altar of the market: the Blackstone letters and the financialisation of housing

Journal article


Birchall, D. (2019). Human rights on the altar of the market: the Blackstone letters and the financialisation of housing. Transnational Legal Theory. 10 (3-4), pp. 446-471. https://doi.org/10.1080/20414005.2019.1692288
AuthorsBirchall, D.
Abstract

This article analyses the recent exchange of letters between two UN human rights mandate-holders and the Blackstone Group LP, a private equity firm with significant investments in the rental housing market in multiple jurisdictions. The mandate-holders argue that Blackstone’s investments are causing serious harm to the right to housing, including retrogressing affordability, and increasing evictions, homelessness and housing-related poverty. The scale of investment displaces communities and reshapes the housing landscape for the next generation. Blackstone’s rebuttal was, in part, predicated on their subservience to market forces and their obeying the law in all jurisdictions. This is largely accurate, indicating that markets and their constitutive rules permit and incentivise retrogressive housing outcomes. The paper therefore argues that promoting socio-economic rights under financialised globalisation requires challenging the engrained norms of marketisation. International human rights law provides an entry point for this project.

Year2019
JournalTransnational Legal Theory
Journal citation10 (3-4), pp. 446-471
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/20414005.2019.1692288
Publication dates
Print01 Nov 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Sep 2021
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Transnational Legal Theory on 18/11/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/20414005.2019.1692288

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Accepted author manuscript
Blackstone TLT.pdf
License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

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