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Interview Files 'The Globalisation of Eviction Enforcement'

posted on 2023-09-05, 07:25 authored by Alexander Baker

The files deposited here are transcripts of audio recorded semi-structured interviews conducted as part of the research project entitled ‘The Globalisation of Eviction Enforcement’, Funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project was a study of the international eviction enforcement sector, through case studies of eviction enforcement practices in the UK, Ireland, and South Africa. Interviews are with individuals involved in eviction enforcement, NGOs representing or working with evicted people, and relevant government and civil service figures.

Project Outline

This project aimed to fill a research gap in urban studies and housing scholarship around eviction enforcement. It attempted to understand how eviction enforcement practices, strategies and tactics emerge and disseminate between organizations responsible for physically enforcing evictions. The project sought to explain 3 interlocking research problems:

1) How dedicated institutions such as private eviction companies, bailiffs and specific police agencies, and specialised strategies and tactics of forced eviction used by such agencies, are developed and spread.

2) How physical and emotional eviction enforcement practices transfer and exchange between contexts and connect to wider networks of land economics and geopolitics.

3) How resistance shapes and structures the development and spread of eviction enforcement.

This research is motivated by a growing awareness of forced eviction as a global crisis (UN-HABITAT, 2011). The process of forced eviction can be defined as ‘when people are forced out of their homes and off their land, with little notice or none at all, often with the threat or use of violence’ (Amnesty, 2012:2). This study intervenes where recent work has highlighted a research gap around the security and policing agencies of eviction enforcement which physically carry out this work (e.g. Paton and Cooper, 2016). My previous reviews of the literature have emphasised the importance of transnational assemblages of eviction practice (Baker, 2020). Ethnographic case studies conducted by others show how evictions blend different material and emotional processes, producing feelings such as fear, anxiety and exhaustion (e.g. Lancione, 2017; Schoenberger and Beban, 2018). Research from the perspective of anti-eviction movements (Wilde, 2017; Roy, 2017) has often recorded the actions of eviction enforcers such as police and bailiffs in process, yet has not made a full account of the histories and frameworks from which their eviction practices have emerged, and their spread between contexts within this global crisis.

This project began in 2019 and concluded September 2023.

The project is governed by Ethical Approvals 034997 and 043186.

ORCID: 0000-0001-9464-8323


'The globalisation of eviction enforcement' Leverhulme Trust ECF-2019-308



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