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This page is the beginning of a comprehensive collection of anti-capitalist and anarchistic perspectives on property relations from a conceptual, jurisprudential perspective. While there is no shortage of work on particular property relations within economy, politics and philosophy, work on the actual composition, configuration and internal functioning and - hence - reconfigurability of property relations remains a province charted almost exclusively by Oxford scholars of jurisprudence, notably J. W. Harris:

Harris has written the only book to combine fully the perspectives of philosophy and law towards an understanding of the concept of property":

"When philosophers put forward claims for or against 'property', it is often unclear whether they are talking about the same thing that lawyers mean by 'property'. Likewise, when lawyers appeal to 'justice' in interpreting or criticizing legal rules we do not know if they have in mind something that philosophers would recognize as 'justice' ... Bridging the gulf between juristic writing on property and speculations about it appearing in the tradition of western political philosophy, Professor Harris has built from entirely new foundations an analytical framework for understanding the nature of property and its connection with justice. Property and Justice ranges over natural property rights; property as a prerequisite of freedom; incentives and markets; demands for equality of resources; property as domination; property and basic needs; and the question of whether property should be extended to information and human bodily parts. It maintains that property institutions deal both with the use of things and the allocation of wealth, and that everyone has a 'right' that society should provide such an institution.

The concept of property is often used in a manner that conflates the general and the particular: property in general (social relations with regard to things) are conflated with property in particular (such as and most commonly, exclusive, private property, as instantiated within capitalist democracy), leading to confusion and by implication giving the impression that capitalist property relations are the only form of property relations. In order to address this problem, a conceptual treatment that opens up for an understanding of the way in which property relations are actually configured - as opposed to, but not separate from their psycho-social and economic implications - is needed.

The work of J. W. Harris is a good starting point for such exercises, but it needs socialistic, anarchistic, communistic and related approaches for the purposes of radical social change. It is a great tool box - a potential weapon - ready to use. The questions concerning property relations that need addressing are the configuration of social relations with regard to things: what are the various and known mechanisms, protocols, relational modalities and concepts that exist within a jurisprudential understanding of property relations and how can they be configured in such as way that they embody and express global solidarity, ecological consciousness and lead to emancipation of individuals and facilitate the autonomous articulation of communities?

Forthcoming events

There is potentially a panel forming for Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 2011:

Property:Transforming Politics: New Synergies: 61st Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 19 - 21 April 2011, Novotel London West.

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