Monday, April 26, 2010
A draft of my article Acceptable Deviance and Property Rights (forthcoming, Connecticut Law Review, which I link to here because it has an uncommonly gorgeous website for a law review) is finally up and running at SSRN. Frankly, I already have some changes in mind for it. I would really appreciate any feedback anyone would care to give. You can e-mail me any suggestions at mark.edwards at wmitchell.edu, or post them in the comments section. Here's the (admittedly rather abstract) abstract:
Compliance with – or deviance from – law is often dependent upon the law’s convergence with – or divergence from – normative sensibilities. Where the legality and social acceptability of behavior diverge, deviance is socially acceptable. Property rights evolve in response to changes in normative sensibilities. Constructing a model of acceptable deviance and applying it to property rights, we can predict and actually observe the evolution of property rights in response to changes in normative sensibilities in areas as diverse as file-sharing, foreclosures, the use of public space, and fishing rights. We can also predict and observe stresses in legal institutions created by divergences in the legality and social acceptability of behavior with regard to property rights. Law functions as an anchor on behavior, providing stability, but also space for deviance which permits the evolution of property rights.
[comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]