The contributors in this volume address the fundamental relationship between the state and its citizens, and among the people themselves. Discussion centers on a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Kelo v. City of New London. This case involved the use of eminent domain power to acquire private property for purposes of transferring it by the State to another private party that would make "better" economic use of the land. This type of state action has been identified as an "economic development taking". In the Kelo case, the Court held that the action was legal within provisions of the US Constitution but the opinion was contentious among some of the Justices and has been met with significant negative outcry from the public. The Kelo case and the public debate arising in its aftermath give cause to assess the legal landscape related to the ability of government to fairly balance the tension between private property and the public interest. The tension and the need to successfully strike a balance are not unique to any one country or any one political system. From the United States to the United Kingdom, to the People's Republic of China, property and its legal regulation are of prime importance to matters of economic development and civic institution building. The Kelo decision, therefore, explores a rich set of legal principles with broad applicability.
'This book of insightful and carefully crafted essays presents numerous breakthroughs in contextualizing the seminal decision in Kelo v. City of New London and other recent developments in the law of eminent domain. By examining the decision from diverse historical, theoretical and comparative law perspectives, this book will become essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why eminent domain has become such a hotly contested legal, political and social battleground in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century.' John A. Lovett, Loyola University, USA 'With eminent domain law as the focal lens, this volume of essays provides great clarity of vision into the often blurred lines between private property and public uses. It invites us to see the manifold hues in the colorful overlay of legal doctrines, public policies and natural rights.' Frank S. Alexander, Emory University, USA '…a comprehensive, authoritative review of current research addressing the role of heritage in identity formation…Recommended.' Choice 'Private Property, Community Development and Eminent Domain contains a thorough, scholarly discussion of the major issues raised by the Kelo case. It would be a worthwhile addition to any law school library.' Legal Information ALERT 'This book presents a series of interesting analyses of issues…anyone working on scholarship on takings and economic development, KELO, or related topics will want to consult it.' The Law and Politics Book Review