Virginia Santilli (EHESS, Paris)

Drawing on her expertise on finance, business and sociology, Virginia Santili explores the real estate field from a sociological and financial perspective. After her graduation from Neoma business school with a Master in Finance, she completed a Master of Research in sociology at EHESS with a research focus on real estate Financial managers. Since September 2015, she is a PhD candidate at EHESS, under the supervision of Prof. Eve Chiapello; her thesis is funded by the Ecole Française de Rome.

Virginia’s PhD research project compares French and Italian social housing business models: her aim is to contribute to a better understanding of the so called “modernizing”, “neoliberal” or “managerial” shift in social housing field. To this end, she studies the circuits of capital that finance social housing, and she investigates the public policy regulations of social housing funding. She seeks to link this macro approach to a meso-level study and micro-investigations by investigating organizational changes in social housing companies and exploring the evolution of the sorts of accommodation that are proposed as well as the changing behaviours towards tenants.

Despite institutional differences and social housing stock dissimilarities, the comparison between France and Italy can be enlightening because both countries have developed strong welfare policies in the post-WWII period and have recently introduced austerity programmes. Although their effect appears to be stronger in Italy than in France, these austerity programmes have a significant impact on both Italian “case popolari” and French “HLM”.