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The integrating role of private homeownership and mortgage credit in British neoliberalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Early online date27 Dec 2017
StateE-pub ahead of print - 27 Dec 2017

King's Authors


The financialization of the British economy has occurred in part due to the deregulation of the financial sector by the Thatcher government, which was necessary to support their drive to widen access to private housing. However, explaining how the macroeconomic effects of increased homeownership and mortgage credit under the Thatcher government can be more concretely linked to the micro-foundations of the economy and subject formation remains an under-explored research area. This paper contributes to such research through the use of Foucault's theory of morality to explain how the Thatcher government promoted an ethics-oriented morality that transformed private homeownership into a dominant social norm and established a mortgage-led accumulation regime in Britain. Additionally, the widespread acceptance of private homeownership subjected the British public to the disciplinary rules-oriented morality of mortgage finance, which integrated a previously fractured social base into a functioning social formation under British neoliberalism.

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