As a liberal institution, private property is based upon a view of the natural order that prioritizes the individual human being over our social existence and over our nonhuman others. Colonial expansion was enabled in part by the misrecognition and denigration of indigenous land management practices. Forms of property were imposed that were incommensurable with the sustainable relationships formed by original owners with land. Given the ubiquity of the Anglosphere’s degraded and abstract understanding of property, is it possible to imagine the decolonization of property? Can property be rethought to close the divide between person and thing, and to better acknowledge the normative values of mutuality and care between people and place? What resources are there within mainstream property theory that might allow for such a reconstruction of property?.
- property theory