This article starts from the premise that we are living amid a conjunctural moment, in which the neoliberal political economic and ideological paradigm has been destabilized. In moments of conjuncture, competing social groups vie—contingently and unevenly—to reconfigure a social order that is on the verge of rupture. Such acts of construction necessarily entail an engagement with—and a contestation over—the state; and they play out, in no small part, on the terrain of law. The article’s focus is on the ways in which recent political economic, organizing, and legal developments in New York City’s housing sphere illuminate a possible path forward. More specifically, the author makes the case that the successful campaign to strengthen New York’s system of rent regulation shows how law can be harnessed by grassroots, collective mobilizations to place property within the reach of democracy and—in so doing—to undertake the urgent task of unmaking the neoliberal order.

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