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.
Skip Nav Destination
April 1, 2022
Research Article| April 01 2022
If You Can Unmake It Here: Crisis, Contingency, and Law in the Making and Unmaking of Neoliberal New York
John Whitlow is an associate professor of law at the City University of New York, where he codirects the Community and Economic Development Clinic. His writing, which focuses on law and political economy, racial capitalism, and gentrification/displacement, has appeared in an array of scholarly and popular forums.
Search for other works by this author on:
South Atlantic Quarterly (2022) 121 (2): 339–357.
John Whitlow; If You Can Unmake It Here: Crisis, Contingency, and Law in the Making and Unmaking of Neoliberal New York. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2022; 121 (2): 339–357. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-9663646
Download citation file:
Don't already have an account? Register
You could not be signed in. Please check your email address / username and password and try again.
Could not validate captcha. Please try again.
Sign in via your InstitutionSign In
Citing articles via
From Point Zero to the Future: Struggles over Housing and Notes for a Feminist Grammar of Organization