The Role of Laws and Regulations in Shaping Gentrification: The case of Beirut

URN urn:nbn:de:gbv:1373-opus-4350
URL
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Institut: Kultur der Metropole
Hauptberichter: Ingrid Breckner
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 10.09.2018
Erstellungsjahr: 2018
Publikationsdatum:
SWD-Schlagwörter: Gentrifizierung , Politik , Beirut
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Gentrification, Beirut, law and regulations, rent gap theory, political elite
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

It has been long established in gentrification studies that laws and regulations support and foster gentrification, but little research was conducted on their influence on this transformation beyond this initial phase. Therefore, this thesis is set to examine the laws’ role in the gentrification process as a whole. To reach this objective, this paper will consider the impact of laws and regulations on the form that gentrification takes. This role is examined in three cases of gentrification in Beirut: the complete gentrification of the city center through a reconstruction process, a residential gentrification based on the construction of upscale high rises, and an economic form of gentrification related to a boom in the food and beverage, and creative industries. In these three cases the role of laws and gentrifications varied substantially, but as they created an appropriate setting for the development of gentrification, they also determined how these gentrifications developed, and even dictated to a considerable extent the outcome of these transformations. Gentrification proceeded aided by the legislations that assured maximum profit. In turn, gentrification is conditioned by these legislations and subject to them. Throughout this thesis, the rent gap theory — the gap between current and potential capitalized land rent — was used to analyze the role of laws and regulations in the gentrification process. The findings of this thesis provide a basis for developing this theory. Finally, the geographical location of Beirut in the so-called global south could raise several questions, as gentrification studies were developed in the Western world and in a context of advanced capitalism. This thesis argues that the global north-south divide is a false dichotomy, and what is of most relevance to gentrification studies is to examine the politico-economic core of the issue, rather than adopting a forced geopolitical perspective.

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