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Title: The structure of the current housing provision in Saudi Arabia : an institutional perspective
Author: Aldalbahi, Salman
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 4606
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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Over the past five decades, large petroleum reserves have made Saudi Arabia one of the top twenty economies in the world. Changes to the economics and politics of the oil industry in the 1970s led to an unprecedented and rapid expansion of the country’s economy and to higher levels of internal and external migration to major Saudi cities. This has intensified the demand for housing, and particularly for affordable housing. However, despite being well-resourced, the government of Saudi Arabia has struggled to meet this increasing demand for housing. This research explores the underlying factors contributing to the Saudi housing shortage, using an innovative framework that combines insights drawn from institutional theory (which has rarely been applied to the Saudi context) with critical realism. This is used to explore qualitative data (drawn from document analysis and interviews) in order to demonstrate that institutions play a key, though sometimes contradictory, role in influencing the provision of housing in Saudi Arabia. The research focuses particularly on relationships between three sets of actors: the first set includes the state actors which are involved in the regulation process of the housing provision; the second set includes other actors who implement these regulations, this includes the financers, developers, and marketers who represent the capital interests of the Saudi housing market. Finally, the last set includes the end users of the final product represented by individual consumers. The thesis seeks to position the housing shortage at the crux of a complex series of relationships between the institutions in which these actors work, portraying a fragmented landscape in which there is a poor degree of integration and coordination between significant organizational players. Mismatches between the cultural norms, and the written and unwritten rules and regulations of different institutions, are reflected in a governance landscape where land use policy and financial mechanisms are poorly connected, and where both strategic urban planning and more quotidian types of planning permission are not joined up with individual construction projects. This disjointed institutional landscape is further complicated by the existence of competition between two governmental bodies leading to conditions of intensified capitalist land accumulation. The emergence of this fierce capitalist market has meant that development has become a source of vast surplus value, raising the price of housing and problematizing the delivery of more affordable types of dwelling.
Supervisor: Connelly, Stephen ; Powell, Ryan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available