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Property Rights And Sustainability: Can They Be Reconciled?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the private ownership of nature itself land, water, timber, and the like. It presents the fundamentals of private property as a system of power over nature. The chapter asserts, in brief, that private property is a social arrangement that has taken a wide variety of forms over time, in terms of what can be owned and what it means to own. The first part of the chapter presents the fundamentals of private property as a system of power over nature. The elements of ownership, even their fundamentals, have evolved considerably over time, and they ought to continue evolving to reflect changed circumstances, public values, and ecological understandings. How can this evolution best take place so that private property continues to work well overall? The second part of the chapter addresses three questions that arise from this foundation.

Keywords:natural resources; private property; property law; public use



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