Locating the housing crisis in Kuwaiti state, land and society


Despite the oil wealth and hyper-welfare provision to its citizens, Kuwait has seen the rise of a ‘housing crisis’ discourse in recent years. This paper aims to provide an opportunity to understand the nature of Kuwait’s housing crisis and the reasons behind the state’s perceived inability to respond to it. Through the analysis of research findings from the field, we argue that the housing crisis in Kuwait is socially constructed, reflecting the multi- layered conditions of historic provision and consumption of housing in Kuwaiti society. The formulation of the housing crisis can be further disaggregated into (a) the crisis of the Kuwaiti welfare state, (b) the crisis of land development and (c) the society in crisis. Tackling the housing crisis, therefore, requires a holistic approach that involves multi-level stakeholder engagement, including a wide range of citizens. Our study on housing in Kuwait draws attention to the country’s contemporary state–society relations and the complexities of housing crises unfolding globally

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