Property Rights and Sustainability

The Evolution of Property Rights to Meet Ecological Challenges


Published with the support of The New Zealand Law Foundation.

As collapses and crises involving ecological systems, economic and financial management and international governance increase, the need for bold alternatives to traditional economic and legal responses has never been more urgent. Property concepts are an important element in the interaction between humans and the natural environment. An important driver of ecological harm, property concepts can also become a powerful tool for responding to ecological problems in ways that have so far eluded both government regulators and markets.

Going beyond the traditional critiques of liberal property theories, Property Rights and Sustainability takes on the challenge of fundamentally reconceptualising property rights and systems. It makes a significant contribution to rebalancing the legal framework in a way that recognises humanity as a member of a larger ecological order, the health and integrity of which is of primary importance to the long-term viability of our planet.

Property Rights and Sustainability will be an indispensable resource for those interested in the relationship between property law and the environment, and the ways in which property law can be reshaped to respond to the ecological challenges of our time.

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David Grinlinton is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has published extensively on property rights and environmental law.

Prue Taylor is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has published extensively on environmental law, international environmental law and ethics.

1. Property Rights and Sustainability: Toward a New Vision of Property, Prue Taylor and David Grinlinton

PART I: Theoretical Perspectives on Property Rights and Sustainability
2. Property Rights and Sustainability: Can they be Reconciled? Klaus Bosselmann
3. Taking Property Seriously, Eric T. Freyfogle
4. Property: Faustian Pact or New Covenant with Earth? J. Ronald Engel
5. Property Rights Viewed from Emerging Relational Perspectives, Peter Horsley
6. Property beyond Growth: Toward a Politics of Voluntary Simplicity, Samuel Alexander
7. The Mythology of Environmental Markets, Nicole Graham
8. Sustainable Webs of Interests: Reconceptualizing Property in an Interconnected Environment, Tony Arnold

PART II: Differing Cultural Approaches to Property Rights in Natural Resources
9. Elusive Forms: Materiality and Cultural Diversity in the Ownership of Water, Veronica Strang
10. Maori Concepts of Rangatiratanga, Kaitiakitanga, the Environment, and Property Rights, Nin Tomas
11. Communal Governance of Land and Resources as a Sustainable Property Institution, Lee Godden

PART III: Changing Conceptions of Property and the Challenge of Accommodating Principles of Sustainability in the Ownership and Use of Natural Resources
12. Evolution, Adaptation, and Invention: Property Rights in Natural Resources in a Changing World, David Grinlinton
13. Property Rights across Sustainable Landscapes: Competing Claims, Collapsing Dichotomies, and the Future of Property, Ann Brower and John Page
14. South African Natural Resources, Property Rights, and the Public Trusteeship – Transformation in Progress, Elmarie van der Schyff
15. International Law’s Protection of Foreign–Owned Property against Uncompensated Expropriation: Preserving Host–State Regulatory Freedom, Amokura Kawharu

Those interested in the relationship between property law and the environment, and how property law can be reshaped to respond to the ecological challenges of our time.