Type

Journal Article

Authors

Rob Kitchin
Mark Boyle
Cian O'Callaghan

Subjects

Law

Topics
treatment global ireland ghost estates space crisis economic recession post

Post-politics, crisis, and Ireland’s ghost estates (2014)

Abstract This paper argues that the global economic recession provides an instructive point to reconsider recent theorisations of post-politics for two reasons. First, theories of the post-political can help us to understand the current neoliberal impasse, and second, current transformations provide us with an empirical basis to test the limits of these explanatory frameworks. While the resurgence of neoliberal policies, evidenced through the state-sponsored rescue of the financial sector and the introduction of harsh austerity measures in many countries, appear to confirm post-politics, various protest movements have testified to a concurrent re-politicisation of the economy. Furthermore, crises constitute periods of disruption to the discursive and symbolic order, which open a space for hegemonic struggle, however fleeting. We focus our analysis on Ireland's ‘ghost estates’ – residential developments left abandoned or unfinished after the property crash – and their treatment within mainstream print media. We argue that in the context of crash, the ‘ghost estate’ functioned as an ‘empty signifier’ through which hegemonic struggles over how to narrate, and thus re-inscribe, the event of the crisis were staged. We explore the double role played by ‘ghost estates’: firstly, as an opening for politics, and secondly, as a vehicle used to discursively contain the crisis through a neoliberal narrative of ‘excess’. We argue that our analysis offers an instructive example of how post-politicisation occurs as a process that is always contingent, contextual, and partial, and reliant on the cooption and coproduction of existing cultural signifiers with emergent narrations of crisis.
Collections Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Social Sciences
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Type = Article
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Social Sciences: Geography
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Status = Published
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Open Access DRIVERset

Full list of authors on original publication

Rob Kitchin, Mark Boyle, Cian O'Callaghan

Experts in our system

1
Rob Kitchin
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 218
 
2
Mark Boyle
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 34
 
3
Cian O'Callaghan
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 18