Democracy and non-profit housing: The tensions of residents’ involvement in the Danish non-profit sector

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Abstract

Resident democracy as a special form of participatory democratic set-up is fundamental in the understanding, and self-understanding, of the non-profit housing sector in Denmark. Through a case study, the paper explores how resident democracy is perceived and narrated between residents and employees at a housing association. The study indicates that the meta-story of democracy is disconnected from practice and the lived lives of residents. Three analytical tensions structure the analysis, which relate to the conditions for realizing the democratic ideal embedded in the structure of the sector. The tensions are related to representative versus participatory democracy; collectivity versus individuality; and service versus welfare. The tensions elucidate how resident democracy is squeezed between different logics, which result in an ambiguous setting for practising democracy. Based on the results, the article discusses conditions for prospective democracy in the Danish non-profit housing sector.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHousing Studies
Volume32
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1085-1104
Number of pages20
ISSN0267-3037
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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