Chapter 6: Resilient Property Theory

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Contributions to Book

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A Research Agenda for Property Law


States’ responses to ‘propertised’ resource problems go to the heart of property theory and property law, locating the governance of property - through private property rights and commons - at the forefront of current political, legal and scholarly debates. These debates are anchored in liberal theories of property, which in turn are rooted in classical liberal theories of the state. As social, economic, political and environmental transformations have re-configured the state’s public power, and private property’s power, these implications have not yet been worked through in accounts of private property law. If property theory is to make a meaningful contribution to addressing the wicked property problems that manifest in the global challenges of developing sustainable housing, financial and environmental systems, the approaches and methodologies of property scholarship, and the theories we build to understand, interpret and explain property require fresh attention. This chapter offers a new approach and methodology for thinking and talking about property law and theory, drawing insights from wicked problem theory, vulnerability theory and sustainability theories, and rooted in a realistic account of the nature of the twenty-first century nation state. Taking a methods assemblage approach, RPT avoids framing limitations that narrow the view of problems, and enables a new approach and methodology for property scholarship that focuses on the resilience needs of all stakeholders, including the state.


Published as part of the book A RESEARCH AGENDA FOR PROPERTY LAW, pages 77-92. Published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

This book is forthcoming in the MLIC catalog.