The criminalisation of squatting: Discourses, moral panics and resistances in the Netherlands, England and Wales
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AbstractIn both England and the Netherlands, squatting has recently been legislated against. Criminalisation is often understood as a top-down process, where those who are criminalised are seen as passive actors without political agency. Understanding squatters as political activists, rather than merely victims of the social and economic system, puts a different light on the theoretical and practical implications related to criminalisation. Indeed criminalisation is a complex process that involves a multiplicity of actors, interests, and discourses. On the one hand it produces new norms and meanings aimed at shaping squatters' conducts. On the other hand, it sees the emergence of alternative practices and discourses that resist criminalisation. The aim of this paper is the understanding of the complex relation between criminalisation and its resistance, and of how discourses of criminalisation and practices of resistance mutually influence each other. We will examine the contestation of the meaning of squatting, the role of the media in constructing moral panics toward squatting, and the alternative discourses used to counter criminalisation, both in England and in the Netherlands. In particular, we will explore the discourses mobilised by right-wing politicians and opponents of squatting to criminalise it, and the discourses utilised by squatters and their supporters to defend it.
TypeChapter in book
Dadusc, Deanna and Dee, ETC (2015) The criminalisation of squatting: Discourses, moral panics and resistances in the Netherlands, England and Wales In: Moral rhetoric and the criminalisation of squatting: vulnerable demons? Routledge, New York. ISBN 9781322232263