I’m excited to announce the publication of my journal article in Urban Geography, titled “Beirut and the creation of the rent gap.” In this article, I think deeply about how land and building values are created and influenced by the legal framework, but also factors less discussed in the literature such as civil conflict, informality, illegality, and war. You can download the article here! Below is the abstract.
This article investigates how rent gaps are created in Beirut,Lebanon, and makes a two-fold argument. First, it argues that rent gaps are created by state-legitimized power and agents of capital through the legal framework, and that the role of location in deter-mining differences between potential ground rents, so salient in Beirut, demonstrates the complementarity of neoclassical land rent theory and rent gap theory. Second, it argues that beyond the legal framework, rent gaps in Beirut are formed through informal, illegal and exceptionalist practices as well as civil, sectarian conflict and forced displacement. This extends the range of forces to consider when thinking about what creates and shapes rent gaps. The paper emphasizes the necessity of a critical perspective on the ways in which value in urban space is created in the interests of the state and agents of capital, while attuning rent gap theory to a moreglobal perspective.