Public Property, Law and Society : Owning, Belonging, Connecting in the Public Realm book cover
1st Edition

Public Property, Law and Society
Owning, Belonging, Connecting in the Public Realm

ISBN 9780367375980
Published December 30, 2020 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the almost entirely neglected realm of public property, identifying and describing a number of key organizing principles around which a nascent jurisprudence of public property may be developed.

In property law terms, the public realm is lost to plain view. Despite the vast acreage of public lands, or the extensive tracts of private lands over which public rights subsist, there is little commensurate scholarly discussion of the ideas, theories, practices, and laws of public property. This is no accident. Public property has been marginalized and pushed to the periphery for centuries, a consequence of the dominant discourse of private property, and its enclosing, encroaching tendencies. This book explores the rich diversity of the public estate, of what the public realm means for us, the general public, canvassing what we may ‘own’, where we may ‘belong’, or not, and how we may ‘connect’ through a shared use and enjoyment of public place and space. To better understand public property is to better value its critical public-wealth. Whether overlooked, over-used, or under threat of imminent loss, this book maintains that our loved (and not so loved) public spaces are essential components of our diverse, functioning, and optimistically livable human geographies. As such, they demand legal protection.

This important and original book will be of considerable interest to scholars and others with interests in property and land law, socio-legal studies, legal geography and urban studies.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 – Of public order

Chapter 3 – Of public owning

Chapter 4 – Of sociability, human flourishing, and the well-lived public life

Chapter 5 – Of public belonging

Chapter 6 – Of public connection

Chapter 7 – Of democracy, protest, and the public square

Chapter 8 – Conclusion

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John Page is a Professor of Law at the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University, Australia.