Land-housing problems and the limits of the non-homeowners movement in Taiwan

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This paper attempts to analyze the socioeconomic causes, the social bases of mobilization, and the structural limits of the non-homeowners movement in Taiwan since the 1980s. In postwar Taiwan there have been three waves of land and housing price hikes, the first in 1973, the second in 1978, and the most recent one in 1987. The results were the skyrocketing of the overall real estate and urban housing prices and frustration and resentment among the lower and the middle classes. Behind this emerging problem was the triple alliance of the business conglomerates, local factions, and the KMT state, which has been either directly engaging in land speculation activities or tolerating the worsening of land price hikes without preventive policies. The state has become less autonomous in executing urban land reform policy as it had to compete with conglomerates and factions for economic surplus and political supports. Faced with the structural coalition of three such powerful and economic actors, the non-homeowners movement has been losing ground in pressing for necessary and effective reform in Taiwan 's national urban land and housing policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-65
Number of pages24
JournalChinese Sociology and Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


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