Home in the ‘global arc’: a governmentalities approach to understanding divergent rationalities around public housing renewal

Ms Laura Wynne1

1University Of Tasmania


Governmentalities approaches allow us to unpick the ways in which places, people and things and brought into view such that they might be governed—and that this government might be resisted—in specific ways.

In this presentation, I use a Foucauldian approach to identify the ways in which public housing is variously brought into visibility by different actors. Waterloo, situated in Sydney’s ‘global arc’, is currently subject to a major public housing renewal project. The renewal relies upon Waterloo being brought into view in ways that make its redevelopment appear necessary, justified and even inevitable.

Focusing in particular on the rationalities drawn upon by residents engaged in activism against the redevelopment, and on the governmental discourse used to make the redevelopment possible, this presentation explores how divergent fields of visibilities allow public housing to be imagined and governed in particular ways that make certain futures appear possible.


Laura Wynne is a PhD Candidate at the University of Tasmania. Her research uses a governmentalities approach to understand resistance to public housing renewal. Laura also works as a researcher with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS.

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