Waves of Resistance and the Call for Fundamental Change: What’s Habitat Got to Do with It?

Findings from the HIC-HLRN Violation Database, 2008–2011





Since the last International Housing and Land Rights Day (World Habitat Day) in 2010, the world has become a different place. Not only has it been revealed that the polar ice cap is melting at a far more-rapid rate than previously estimated,1 but a most-unlikely uprising in a region of entrenched despotism has uprooted long-standing dictators and their brutal regimes. For long a repressive bulwark reassuring Western interests as the preferable alternative to equitable democratization, authentic national self-determination and allegedly radical Islam, those regimes now are toppling as so many dominos, teetering on the brink of collapse and/or reforming frantically to salvage their control over the state: land, people and institutions. The political map has transformed dramatically since last year. In this transitional light, one might well paraphrase the sultry Tina Turner to ask the musical question, “What’s habitat got to do with it?”