Home is a fulcrum around which our most important mental and material activities revolve. Operating simultaneously as a concept, an experience, a discourse, an emotion and a (real or imagined) physical site, home shapes our personal and social identities, and informs our thinking, willing and judging. Home thus straddles a paradoxical territory. It forms who we are, as individuals and collectives, but it also ferments political action and reaction, and has generated, from the very beginnings of organized societies, public policymaking. Anthropologist Mary Douglas has influentially argued that home is ‘not only a space but it also has some structure in time’, and by virtue of these properties, home unfolds into, or builds, a community. Such polyphonic projects, the editors believe, are necessary. Events over the past decade have heightened awareness of the subject of home and its implications for public and private decision-making.