HABITAT AS A CONTESTED NOTION: A GUIDELINE ON UNDERSTANDING URBAN POLICY

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses the semantic changes of the word “habitat” in the time of the current economic crisis. More particularly, it studies the legislation related to habitat that it had been produced during the latest socio-political transformations, in order to investigate whether the legal discourse held tends to redefine the notion of habitat. The paper considers the order of discourse as a social practice and as a political act, as the outcome of power relations and power struggle and as the term for a potential or actual area of discursive conflict. Bearing that in mind, the central questions posed regard the continuities and discontinuities in habitat policy related to the violent political change. Which are the main aspects in which habitat is perceived? Who is governing habitat issues, or in other words, who are the key-actors involved in? What changes in urban policy are indicated according to the changes of its legislative framework? For answering those questions the paper begins with a brief introduction on the Greek case. Secondly, the theoretical research framework is described, as well as the main methodological tools and the procedure which has been followed. In the third part the main laws adopted, during the period under study, are grouped in five categories according to their content and each category is briefly commented. In the fourth and last part the main points are summarized in a way of answering the questions posed. According to the analysis of the data the , and a political dimension and this fact consequently determines the main actors and changes related to habitat issues.

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