CfP Conceptualizing and decoding short-term rentals in times of digital capitalism

Call for Papers: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Cardiff (UK), 28-31 August 2018

Short-term rentals (STR) spark media attention, public debate and diverse reactions from city governments in response to what is often labelled as sharing economy, disruptive business model or new urban tourism. These categorizations hardly capture the dynamic phenomenon that is driven by and responds to urban tourists and other transient visitors and affects and transgresses different urban material and social sub-systems: housing market, public and private space and infrastructure. And while there is a pervasive sense that STR challenge everyday urban realities, urban planning and urban policies, broader theoretical explanations are still scarce.

This session seeks to find new conceptualizations that link STR with broader processes of urban transformation and restructuring. In particular, we are interested in theoretical as well as empirical papers that combine micro- and macro-level perspectives and provide a critical analysis of different dimensions of STR (e.g. policy agendas, gentrification, urban infrastructure, financialization) in different urban settings.

We invite contributions that discuss and address (although not limited to) the following broader topics:

  • Uncovering STR and linking it to broader trends in urban political economy
  • Exploring the driving actors (actor relations, actor coalitions) behind STR in European cities
  • Research on urban contestations in relation to STR
  • Single case and comparative studies that tackle the impact of STR on local housing markets of European cities and beyond
  • Impact on urban infrastructure and public spaces
  • Commodification of housing
  • Interlacing with other forms of digital capitalism (wework etc.)

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words, along with a title, author(s), affiliation and contact details, both to Angela Hof (angela.hof@sbg.ac.at) and Christian Smigiel (christian.smigiel@sbg.ac.at) by Friday 9th February 2018.

The CfP can be found here.
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CfP SHORT-TERM TOURISM RENTALS: OBSERVATION, REGULATIONS and LABOR RECONFIGURATIONS

EIREST, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Thursday March 15th 2018, 9:30 –17:30

The « digitalization » of a growing part of human activities is a major cause of change in the contemporary world. In particular, the power of digital technologies has radically changed the sector of intermediation activities, allowing international digital companies to match a demand and a supply scattered all over the world. The tourism sector, and particularly tourist accommodation industry, is at the forefront of this powerful movement of digitalization of intermediation activities, especially due to the expansion of companies such as Airbnb over the last decade. Indeed, the boom of digital economy, tightly bound to the one of the so-called sharing economy and of the peer-to-peer economic model, henceforth makes it very easy to connect individual people who have an underutilized property (whether it is a room or an entire home, whether it is temporary or not) with a highly spatially scattered tourism demand, through the use of digital platforms.

This workshop aims to explore the breadth of the changes induced by the development of these short- term rental digital platforms from an interdisciplinary perspective. It intends to go beyond the debate regarding the competition between this new form of tourist accommodation and more traditional types of stakeholders (hotels, hostels, guesthouses, etc.) which has already been covered by numerous papers. Beyond this issue, we aim to shed some light on the changes triggered by both the digital nature of this accommodation and its unseen flexibility and volatility, which challenge the definition of the “economic” sphere, the current regulation of economic activity and work, but also the methods used to measure it. Therefore, the workshop aims to analyse the breadth of these changes through (although not limited to) three entry points.

The full CfP can be found here.

Submissions: Please e-mail abstracts of up to 500 words to Anne-Cécile Mermet (anne- cecile.mermet@univ-paris1.fr) and Maria Gravari-Barbas (maria.gravari-barbas@univ-paris1.fr) by January 5th. Successful applicants will be contacted no later than January 31st.