Published: August 27, 2020

Clarke, A., & Parsell, C. (2020). The Ambiguities of Homelessness Governance: Disentangling Care and Revanchism in the Neoliberalising City. Antipode.


Andrew Clarke and Cameron Parsell

Whilst “caring” responses to homelessness (e.g. shelters, drop‐in centres) have been held up by some as a counter‐current to the revanchist city, recent US studies highlight how the structural dynamics of neoliberalisation can implicate caring spaces in revanchist processes of discipline and spatial control. In this paper, we employ an assemblage approach to examine the intersections between care, revanchism and neoliberalisation in Brisbane, Australia. We extend the insights of recent studies by showing how the vulnerability of care to the revanchist pressures of neoliberalisation play out outside the US, despite the prominence of care rationalities and a milder revanchist politics. However, we also push beyond this insight to demonstrate the ongoing progressive potential of care in the neoliberalising city, despite its vulnerabilities to revanchism. Specifically, we highlight the capacity of housing‐focused responses to homelessness to shield people from criminalisation and to prefigure and call‐forth post‐neoliberal practices and spaces.