Skip to main content

Paradoxes Of Segregation: Housing Systems, Welfare Regimes and Ethnic Residential Change in Southern European Cities

Paradoxes Of Segregation: Housing Systems, Welfare Regimes and Ethnic Residential Change in Southern European Cities

Sonia Arbaci

ISBN: 978-1-444-33833-1 April 2019 Wiley-Blackwell 312 Pages






Through an international comparative research, this unique book examines ethnic residential segregation patterns in relation to the wider society and mechanisms of social division of space in Western European regions.


  • Focuses on eight Southern European cities, develops new metaphors and furthers the theorisation/conceptualisation of segregation in Europe
  • Re-centres the segregation debate on the causes of marginalisation and inequality, and the role of the state in these processes
  • A pioneering analysis of which and how systemic mechanisms, contextual conditions, processes and changes drive patterns of ethnic segregation and forms of socio-ethnic differentiation
  • Develops an innovative inter-disciplinary approach which explores ethnic patterns in relation to European welfare regimes, housing systems, immigration waves, and labour systems

List of Figures

Series Editors’ Preface


1. Introduction

Paradoxes of segregation?

Recentering the debate on the production of urban inequality

The value of the (European) periphery

Structure of the book


2. Theorising segregation from Europe

Reconceptualising segregation: societal transformations and the transatlantic debate

The onset: convergence and the death of the state

The shift: divergence and the role of the state-market nexus

Segregation studies: an alternative paradigm and the emergence of a European school of thought

Academia and policy dissonance

Southern Europe a view from the periphery

Mind the gap

Framework for the book


3. Welfare Regimes and National Housing Systems in Europe

Welfare clusters and segregation

Linking welfare regimes and housing systems: principles of stratification and mechanisms of differentiation

Conception of society and decommodification

Mechanisms of socio-tenurial differentiation: housing tenures, unitary and dualist systems

Mechanisms of spatial differentiation: housing provision and land supply

How mechanisms of differentiation inform the social and spatial dimensions of segregation: land supply, tenure, and provision

Socio-tenurial dimension of segregation

Spatial dimension of segregation



4. International Migration Turnaround

Models, frameworks and theories in migration studies: towards a social transformation perspective

Explaining a changing world (order)

The social transformation perspective within migration studies

The (Southern) European migration turnaround

Global lenses and the post-Fordist model of immigration

Trans-Mediterranean lenses: from Europe’s Rio Grande to the Mediterranean caravanserai

Contextual lenses: societal transformations and the Southern European model

Mapping flows and waves: a divergence perspective on Southern Europe

Divergences of flows from the mid-1960s to the late 1990s

Consolidation of flows in the 2000s

Waves of migration



5. Societal and Urban Contexts in Southern Europe

Patterns of segregation: a Southern European model?

Mechanisms of differentiation: urban segregation in the wider societal context

Mechanisms of ethnic residential marginalisation: from systemic arrangements to local urban political agendas

National context

Municipal context



6. A Mosaic of Ethnic Segregation Patterns: Southern European Cities in the 1990s

Mapping ethnic segregation

Degrees of concentration: a twofold typology of port cities and continental cities

Geographic distribution: patterns and divergences

Diffuse peripheralisation

Divergences within each continent of origin

Heterogeneous multi-ethnic areas and absence of ghettoes

Central versus outer-central areas: a source of divergence between port and continental cities

Socio-spatial distribution of the native population: a contextual legacy

Looking at the municipal scale: Barcelona, Genoa, Milan and Turin

Zooming out at the metropolitan scale: Rome, Madrid, Lisbon and Athens

Contrasting ethnic and social residential patterns

Socio-ethnic correspondences: the role of the city’s socio-spatial hierarchy

Socio-ethnic mismatches: which processes of differentiation?



7. Mechanisms of Differentiation: The Role of Local Housing Systems up to the 1990s

Housing tenure perspectives to understand inequalities

A European approach

Adapting the framework for Southern European cities

Mechanisms of socio-tenurial and socio-spatial differentiation

Understanding Southern European urban contexts

State-market-family nexus: socio-tenurial distribution in municipal and metropolitan areas

Dual housing markets: the role of informal provision in socio-ethnic mismatches

Rental sector in municipal areas: the scale of residual rental stock

Low-income owner-occupation in metropolitan areas: informal production and the belt effect



8. Changing Urban Societies: New Mechanisms of Differentiation from the 1990s

Changing housing systems: path–dependency and systemic shifts

Monetary revolution and changing means of access to owner-occupation

Land recommodification and changes in housing supply

Rental sector: recommodification and shrinking

Final reflections

Growing homeowning cities: new mechanisms of differentiation, residential marginalisation and diffuse segregation

Implications of new housing production in the metropolitan areas

Implications of housing tenure change in the core municipal areas



9. The Urban Diaspora: the Paradox of (De)segregation

Widening ethnic residential marginalisation and socio-tenurial differentiation

Milan and its region

Barcelona and Madrid


Diffusing ethnic segregation: an indicator of exclusion

Lisbon’s urban diaspora

Urban diaspora as a Southern European phenomenon?


10. Towards a systemic understanding of (ethnic) residential segregation

Redistribution, distinctiveness and housing system

A new geography of inequalities?

Housing as the deus ex machina

Looking ahead: emerging processes and challenges

“It’s the [state], stupid”