Locating the Housing Crisis in Kuwaiti State, Land and Society

Do Young OH, Hyun Bang SHIN

Research output: Working paperWorking paper series


Despite the oil wealth and hyper-welfare provision to its citizens, Kuwait has seen the rise of a ‘housing crisis’ discourse in recent years. This paper aims to provide an opportunity to understand the nature of Kuwait’s housing crisis and the reasons behind the state’s perceived inability to respond to it. Through the analysis of research findings from the field, we argue that the housing crisis in Kuwait is socially constructed, reflecting the multilayered conditions of historic provision and consumption of housing in Kuwaiti society. The formulation of the housing crisis can be further disaggregated into (a) the crisis of the Kuwaiti welfare state, (b) the crisis of land development and (c) the society in crisis. Tackling the housing crisis, therefore, requires a holistic approach that involves multi-level stakeholder engagement, including a wide range of citizens. Our study on housing in Kuwait draws attention to the country’s contemporary state–society relations and the complexities of housing crises unfolding globally.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLSE Middle East Centre
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Publication series

NameLSE Middle East Centre Kuwait Programme Paper Series

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the Kuwait Programme for the Research Grant to carry out this work, as well as KFAS for organising the authors’ field visit to Kuwait in January 2020. The on-site research assistance by Reem Alfahad is also greatly appreciated. The authors also thank all the interviewees who have kindly shared their time and insights.


Dive into the research topics of 'Locating the Housing Crisis in Kuwaiti State, Land and Society'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this