Monday, September 11, 2006
The purpose of this project is to get input from you, our readers, about the most important works of scholarship in the various areas of legal inquiry.
Unlike other disciplines, most law academics do not have an advanced degree in "law." For students pursuing a Ph.D in areas such as economics, history, or social psychology, they must pass comprehensive exams showing that they have a broad knowledge of the most important works in the field. It is only after comps that students go on to complete their specialized dissertation research.
Legal academia assumes that entry-level candidates and new scholars have done the background research necessary for their area of expertise. But it is left to the individual to get this knowledge. Certainly, the J.D. provides a baseline, and mentors are helpful in providing further direction. But there is nothing akin to comps that sets forth a comprehensive listing for new folks to follow. Many of us have heard the question, in the AALS interview, in the job talk, or as a new scholar presenting a paper: "Well, of course, you have read the work of Prof. X in this area, right?" Failure to respond appropriately to this question may raise eyebrows and cast doubt on the scholar's research.
The Research Canons project is intended to fill this gap.
Property and Real Estate will be up for canonical treatment on Wednesday, 9/13. [UPDATE: the property canons post is now up on PrawfsBlawg]. Property isn't the most cohesive of legal subjects, so I suspect the list will be all over the place. I'll give this more thought over the next few days, but here are some of my candidates:
The Classics of the Moral and Political Theory of Property
Locke, On Property
Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality
Bentham, The Theory of Legislation
Marx, Communist Manifesto
Conceptualizing Property Rights
Wesley Hohfeld's Fundamental Legal Conceptions
Thomas C. Grey, “The Disintegration of Property”
Guido Calabresi & A Douglas Melamed, “Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral"
Great Contemporary Work on Property Theory
Margaret Jane Radin, "Property and Personhood" and Contested Commodities
Joseph William Singer, “The Reliance Interest in Property”
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital
Charles A. Reich, “The New Property”
Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom
William Fischel, The HomeVoter Hypothesis
Ronald Coase, "The Problem of Social Cost"
Garrett Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons"
Harold Demsetz, "Toward a Theory of Property Rights"
Lots of articles by Carol Rose and Richard Epstein -- it is hard to pick just one or two
Takings and Constitutional Property
James Madison, "Property"
Joseph Sax, "Takings and the Police Power"
Frank Michelman, "Property, Utility and Fairness"
Bruce Ackerman, Private Property and the Constitution
Richard Epstein, Takings
William Michael Treanor, "The Original Understanding of the Takings Clause and Political Process"
[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]