From the same journal

From the same journal

Sacred cows, rational debates and the politics of the right to buy after devolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • R Goodlad
  • R Atkinson


Publication details

JournalHousing Studies
DatePublished - May 2004
Issue number3
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)447-463
Original languageEnglish


The introduction of policy instruments such as the Right to Buy (RTB) led to prophecies of the demise of the welfare state in Western Europe. Yet it is increasingly apparent that a welfare state will survive, albeit in a restructured form. This paper examines the place of RTB in the restructuring of social rented housing in the UK and accounts for recent changes to it. A new politics of RTB has arisen from the restructuring of social housing. As the politics of welfare shifted its focus from the scale of welfare provision to reorganising, adjusting and 'modernising' what remained, RTB came into question. This, along with political devolution, has created a new set of conditions that have called RTB into question in different parts of the UK while paradoxically it continues to be widely perceived as inviolable. RTB now occupies an ambiguous and slightly troublesome position as a feature of a residualised social rented sector that is more secure in its role of meeting social needs, as well as being seen to provide a route to owner occupation.

    Research areas

  • social rented housing, Right to Buy, welfare restructuring, devolution, INSTITUTIONALISM

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