A World of Rents! Interrogating Rentier Capitalism 1: Making & Extracting Rent

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group
Organizers: Kean Birch, Jathan Sadowski, Desiree Fields
Chairs: Jathan Sadowski

Description

Economic rents are usually characterized as a distortion of markets, a corruption of politics, or unearned (and undeserved) income; similar analytical and normative framings stretch across the political economic spectrum from right to left. Geographers are increasingly (re)engaging with the issue of rents, rent-seeking, and rentiership at different scales, in different places, and to different effects. While some focus on the emergence and development of new modes of rentier capitalism, others are more focused on mapping out the nitty-gritty, everyday practices entailed in the making of rents through the enclosure of assets. Across these different approaches is a common sense that, for those looking to extract value, a wide world of rents is beckoning — with all the problems it entails. These issues raise the following questions:

1. How are rentier relations manifesting within surveillance/digital/platform capitalism?
2. What models of rent-seeking and rentiership do we see emerging from the intersection of technology, real estate, land, and other interests? How are these rents being made?
3. How are (or are not) contemporary rentier relations connected to older forms of rent, rentiership, and rentier capitalism?
4. What political economies support the development of, and emerge from, this world of rents?
5. How are different social actors, regulations, and markets implicated in conflicts and contestations over redistributional rents?
6. How are rents and rent-seeking being positioned as matters of national, urban, and/or regional self-interest and economic strategy? Through what narratives and discursive devices are rent extraction being legitimated
7. In what ways has the increasing prevalence of rentiership been promoted or curbed by political struggle?
8. What difference does ‘nature’ and ‘materiality’ make to rent-seeking activities?


Agenda

Type Details Minutes
Presenter Kean Birch*, York University, Callum Ward, UCL, An era of rentiership? Placing monopoly, antitrust, and market power in 21st century Anglo-America policy discourse 15
Presenter Rachel Weber*, University of Illinois At Chicago, Anticipatory anxieties: Prediction, property speculation, and rentiership 15
Presenter Richard Buzek*, University of Münster, Contradictory Sites of Assetization: Extracting Rents from the German National Healthcare Sector 15
Presenter Sarah Hughes*, University of Cambridge, Defining and distributing value in entrepreneurial finance 15
Presenter Bjarke Skærlund Risager*, University of Toronto, Nick Clare*, University of Nottingham, Shaun French, University of Nottingham, Rent as an independent variable: exploring autonomist analysis of rent struggles 15

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