With socialism largely discredited in recent years, the moral and legal status of private property has become an increasingly important area for discussion in contemporary political and social thought. Offering a contribution to legal theory, and to political and social philosophy, this work examines the two currently dominant traditions - those of neo-conservative utilitarianism and liberal communitarianism - emphasizing the strengths of both approaches and laying the groundwork for a theory to bridge the gap between them.
Introduction - approaching property. Part 1 Initial persuasions - talk about money: possession as the origin of property; property as storytelling - perspectives from game theory, narrative theory, feminist theory. Part 2 Wealth and community, then and now: "takings" and the practices of property - property as wealth, property as "propriety"; ancient constitution versus federalist empire - anti-federalism from the attack on "monarchism" to modern localism. Part 3 Common property: the comedy of the commons - custom, commerce and inherently public property; energy and efficiency in the realignment of common-law water rights. Part 4 Bargaining and entitlement: crystals and mud in property law; women and property - gaining and losing ground. Part 5 Persuasion revisited - vision and property: seeing property.