This work offers an analysis of the Western formal system of private property and its moral justification and explains the relevance of the institution to particular current issues that face aboriginal peoples and the developing world. The subjects under study include broadly: aboriginal land claims; third world development; intellectual property rights and the relatively recent TRIPs agreement (Trade related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). Within these broad areas we highlight the following concerns: the maintenance of cultural integrity; group autonomy; economic benefit; access to health care; biodiversity; biopiracy and even the independence of the recently emerged third world nation states. Despite certain apparent advantages from embracing the Western institution of private ownership, the text explains that the Western institution of private property is undergoing a fundamental redefinition through the expansion
David R. Lea Ph.D (1990) in Philosophy, University of Ottawa, is Professor of Philosophy at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. He has published extensively on the issue of ownership rights and its relationship to development from a philosophical perspective.
"...Lea has produced an impressive work that should serve as an exemplar of interdisciplinary study....If readers want a sophisticated and detailed account of how competing conceptions of property rights impact on indigenous peoples, as well as insights into how intellectual property regulations impact the Third World, then they could not find a better guide than David Lea. Let us hope that more people heed the calls of writers like this."
Thomas W. Simon,
Philosophy in Review XXXI (2011), no. 1.
All those interested in the moral foundations of private property, indigenous rights including rights to land, development issues, and social issues associated with globalized intellectual property rights.