Comparative themes are implicit in much of this text. For example, attention was drawn in Chapter 3 to the powerful influence that Victorian domestic culture had in fusing the historical links between a cluster of English-speaking, home owning societies. The consequences of globalization — with its themes of broadening, stretching and increased velocity — for the British state and the governance of British housing were discussed in Chapter 2. Finally, the idea that British housing is in some ways ‘different’ from most of its European neighbours can be sensibly argued only in a comparative context. In this chapter the emphasis is on the broad issues which fall under the heading of ‘comparative housing’, of how to analyse and conceptualize the relationship between different countries and so to evaluate Britain’s position in the wider context of her European neighbours and those countries within the English-speaking domain. We have seen how, at the turn of the twenty-first century, Britain had matured as a nation of homeowners and simultaneously entered a period in which the break-up of council housing was being engineered. The structure of British housing — at least in terms of its tenure pattern — seems to be settling after nearly a century of change. In this broad-brush context, a key issue is to characterize British housing in this new post-modern condition. Has it become more ‘Anglicized’, through aligning more strongly with the English-speaking cluster and in a sense returned to its roots, or through the break-up of the monolithic state housing sector is it in the process of becoming more ‘European’?
KeywordsWelfare State Home Ownership Social Housing Housing Policy Housing System
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