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Title: The machinery of eviction : bailiffs, power, resistance and eviction enforcement practices in England and Wales
Authors: Baker, Alexander George.
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis addresses a significant research gap in critical research on forced eviction. It attempts to shift focus from the experiences of the evicted, examined in previous studies, to the work of evictors and eviction enforcement. It asks how the ‘tools, technologies, strategies, and tactics’ of forced eviction develop and are implemented in England and Wales. Using qualitative interviews centred around a case study of a city in the North of England to examine the ‘everyday’ form of evictions, this thesis looks at the work of a Rent Arrears Recovery Team on the ‘Benford’ housing estate in the city, and the working lives of County Court Bailiffs at the local court as they work in the context of a national ‘housing crisis’. Interviews with third party organizations and a High Court Enforcement firm, video footage, and online accounts of large-scale evictions provided by a wide range of sources from social movements are used to explore the ‘exceptional’ forms of displacement that emerge on a national scale. This research shows that Eviction enforcement actors and specialists have to employ forms of coercion which exist on a continuum between the ‘emotional’ and the ‘physical’; these practices are underpinned by ‘intuitive’ tactics built through individual and personal histories and the historical context in which evictions take place. These strategies and tactics of eviction are shaped by the resistance of the evicted, and the development of the disciplinary institutions of eviction happens in response to this resistance, which sets the pace for the development of the capacity of the state and economy to displace. This points to a need for more work critiquing the disciplinary institutions of forced eviction, and the global economy of eviction enforcement.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

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