Property: Meanings, Histories, Theories, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Meanings, Histories, Theories, 1st Edition

By Margaret Davies


172 pages

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pub: 2007-11-22
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This critique of property examines its classical conception: addressing its ontology and history, as well as considering its symbolic aspects and connection to social relations of power.

It is organized around three themes:

  • the ways in which concepts of property are symbolically and practically connected to relations of power
  • the 'objects' of property in changing contexts of materialism
  • challenges to the Western idea of property posed by colonial and post-colonial contexts, such as the disempowerment through property of whole cultures, the justifications for colonial expansion and bio piracy.

Dealing with the symbolism of property, its history, traditional philosophical accounts and cultural difference, Margaret Davis has written an invaluable volume for all law students interested in property law.


"Property is a core concept of Western political and legal thought. Exactly what property is, how property rights can be defined and justified, and how its meaning has changed over time is a matter of significant debate. Davies (Flinders Univ., Australia) sketches out a compact, sophisticated, and often challenging discussion of property, seeking to engage the concept from multiple perspectives…the author does an excellent job addressing the complexity and multiple meanings associated with property. The feminist-property connection is especially interesting. Good for collections on law, feminism, and political theory." -- D. Schultz, CHOICE, May 2008

"… eminently readable, lucid and thought-provoking. …anyone with even the most basic acquaintance with and interest in property theory will find it thoroughly rewarding." - Alison Clarke, King's Law Journal, Vol. 19 No. 3 (2008)

Table of Contents

Introduction. Themes. Histories. Theories. Cultures. Conclusion

About the Author

Margaret Davies is Professor of Law at Flinders University, South Australia. Her research covers several fields of legal theory, including feminist legal theory, legal pluralism, the philosophy of property, and postmodernism. She is the author of several books, including Asking the Law Question (2002) and Delimiting the Law (1996)

About the Series

Critical Approaches to Law

The Critical Approaches to Law series aims to secure a place for critical, inter-disciplinary, and/or theoretical work on the law curriculum. Each book provides a critical approach to a particular legal topic: whether this is an issue or theme within law or legal study, a disciplinary or sub-disciplinary area, a specific legal institution, a significant text, case or piece of legislation, an event, a person, or a specific approach to or tradition of law. The series encourages critical thought in and about law through a range of clear and accessible texts that are suitable for higher level undergraduates and postgraduates, as well as academic and practising lawyers who are seeking critical work in their area.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Jurisprudence
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General