Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Cornell Law Review has a major symposium on "progressive property." It begins with a joint statement by Greg Alexander, Eduardo M. Penalver, Joseph William Singer, and Laura S. Underkuffler. Then follow articles on by Gregory S. Alexander and by Eduardo M. Peñalver.
Alexander's lead article deserves a lot of attention; I hope to devote some time to it later in the summer, though I'll add two things right now. First, it comes at a time when the political winds may be (emphasis on may be) blowing his way. So Alexander may be in a position to have his ideas heard in a way that hasn't been possible for several decades. Second, I think that one could--and in fact Alexander has in some ways done this already in Properiety and Commodity--find a lot of the pieces of what he speaks about as the social obligations of property in American history. For me as a historian, one interesting question is which pieces of property's role--as social obligation or something else--has been dominant over time. Lots of fun to be had in talking about all this!
Alfred L. Brophy