Research Visit and Seminar by Dr Dallas Rogers, Feb 2014

Dr. Dallas Rogers, Research Fellow from the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at University of Western Sydney, will be at Cities Cluster during February 2014.

He will give a seminar on his research, Chaired by Associate Professor Tim Bunnell (FASS Geography) on Weds 19th February, from 10:30am-12pm.

Dr. Rogers will be working on two projects: 1) a research project – governance, production and consumption of Australia Housing in the Asian Century, and 2) a radio documentary about urban change in China for Australia’s National Broadcaster (ABC).

Dr. Rogers can be reached at d.rogers@uws.edu.au.

 

Seminar Abstract

Asian-Australian housing relationships: An international assemblage of economic, technical and cultural practices

There is currently no greater single shift in Australian housing finance, production and consumption practices than the one that is being driven by the economic and political rise of China. This paper explores a set of interrelationships – an international assemblage of economic, technical and cultural practices – that intersect with the governance of Australian housing. The economic and technical relationships enable Chinese, Singaporean and Malaysian nationals and businesses to be: (1) providers of capital (for major projects and in the form of foreign nationals purchasing housing in Australia); and (2) providers of technical expertise. A suite of cultural and market profiling technologies are enabled through the networking of these Asian-Australian housing interrelationships. The Australian Federal Government’s 2012 white paper Australia in the Asian Century sets out a clear strategy for strengthening Australia’s economic and social ties with many Asian countries. Read in conjunction with the Federal Government’s 2011 text Our Cities, Our Future: A national urban policy for a productive sustainable and liveable future the political and policy messages are clear; the government is set to actively pursue Asian capital and technical expertise to manage large infrastructure and housing projects in Australia.

The contribution of housing markets to national economies is widely recognised in Australia and Asia. However, the rapidly changing interrelationships between Australian and Chinese and Singaporean housing production and consumption patterns are not well understood. While this is a policy issue recognised by the federal government in Australia, it is not high on the state and territory government policy agendas. At the state and metropolitan levels, Australian housing is already in the ‘Asian Century’. Large Chinese, Singaporean and Malaysian financial and property development companies are providing capital and technical expertise in the Australia housing sector and Australian housing products are being sold offshore to Chinese nationals. A better understanding of governing Australian housing must consider the significant economic and political restructuring of China.

This paper will report on a study informed by assemblage theory. Assemblage theory elucidates how social, cultural, economic and governmental networks (amongst other networks) operate and interconnect across different regions and scales over time. Assemblage analyses allow for the provisionality and hybridity of housing policy; emphasising how policy change takes form at particular points in time through the connections between diverse institutions, markets, building practices, and state, national and international housing practices. The data includes an analysis of policy, industry and media texts, and 40 interviews with property developers, real estate agents and academics in Australia. This paper presents four of the rapidly changing financial, consumption and technical interrelationships between Australia and Asia: (1) Asian-based property developer activity in Australia; (2) international real estate purchases and collaborations; (3) cultural and market profiling; (4) political pragmatism and protectionism in Australia. I conclude that research on governing Australian housing at the state and metropolitan levels must include the significant economic and political restructuring of China.

Biographical Statement

Dr Dallas Rogers

AHURI Post-Doctorial Research Fellow,

Urban Research Centre,

School of Social Sciences and Psychology

University of Western Sydney

Dallas has a strong track record in the fields of housing policy and urban politics. His expertise in this area has been developed through work on ARC and AHURI projects investigating low income citizens engagement with urban politics in Australia and US, as well as his post-doctoral work focused on citizenship and urban politics in Australia and Asia. He has undertaken housing policy evaluations and citizen participation reviews for non-government, private sector and state housing providers. He is the Online Editor for the International Sociological Association Research Committee for Housing and the Build Environment (RC43). He is currently co-editing a book entitled Housing in Twenty-First Century Australia: Contemporary Debates (Ashgate) with contributions from Australia’s leading housing researchers. Dallas will be based at the Singapore National University in February 2014. He will be collaborating with housing academics in Singapore and China to further develop a research agenda around Australian housing governance in the ‘Asian Century’.