Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day In Hillsborough, NC

What could be better for someone who studies history and cemeteries than an Independence Day visit to the grave of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence?!  Not much, I imagine.  Hence, I set off yesterday morning to visit Hillsborough--a really charming town and close enough to Chapel Hill that it's still affordable to drive there.  Hillsborough is where Thomas Ruffin lived and where several of the "Regulators" were hanged after their rebellion was put down in 1771.

In the church yard of the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church, Thomas Hooper--a signer of the Declaration--was buried in 1790.  Was buried is the operative term--he was exhumed and reburied in Greensboro in 1894 (as part of the creation of a park to commemorate a Revolutionary War battle fought there).  I'm not a huge fan of reburials to create a new park--seems like the attempt to "manufacture" gravitas--and it's done at the expense of a dead person, who obviously can't object.  But then if the relevant family members are ok with it, that's all that's required by law.

Anyway, the church yard is lovely and I saw the place where Hooper had been buried.  (He's a pretty interesting guy, btw--born in Boston and educated at Boston Latin School and Harvard, then trained in law with James Otis and relocated to North Carolina in the 1760s.  Hooper was initially closely tied to the colonial government, then slowly came over the Revolutionary cause, and after the war was a Federalist.)

Alfred Brophy

July 5, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

God and Land at Albany

The Albany Government Law Review and Government Law Center at Albany Law School are cosponsoring a conference called God and the Land:  Conflicts Over Land Use and Religious Freedom.  The conference will be held at Albany Law from October 1-3, 2008.  They have a great group of speakers.

Ben Barros

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July 2, 2008 in Conferences, Land Use | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Property Prof as Graduate Student

I'm guesting this month over at PrawfsBlawg.  As some readers know, for the past two years I've been doing graduate work in philosophy at the University of Maryland.  I just put up a post at Prawfs that talks about doing graduate work while being a law professor.

Ben Barros

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July 1, 2008 in About This Blog, Property Theory, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bromley on Land Formalization

The Journal of Land Use Policy has an article in press by Daniel W. Bromley (Wisconsin, Applied Economics) called Formalising Property Relations in the Developing World: The Wrong Prescription for the Wrong Malady.  I can't find a link now, but will post one if it becomes available [UPDATE: Link Posted].  Here's the abstract:

Formalisation of property relations through the registration of land and the issuance of titles is but the latest in a long history of optimistic policy prescriptions imposed on the poor nations of theworld. As with the discreditedWashington Consensus, the imperative of formalisation flows from the flawed inductive logic that says” “rich countries have formalised tenure, therefore formalisation of tenure will help make you rich.”Unfortunately,empirical research on formalisation of tenure as a stimulus to agricultural investment is unable to establish any robust and reliable connection between “more secure” tenure and enhanced agricultural productivity. Urban slum dwellers who get titles but who are without work cannot possibly leverage credit from the banking sector. Formalisation erodes and displaces existing social networks and arrangements that do offer security. Formalisation offers little assurance that beneficial outcomes are inevitable. As with a long list of previous simple solutions to complex problems, this too shall pass.

This should be of interest to folks who are interested in Hernando de Soto's work (either pro or con).

Ben Barros

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June 30, 2008 in Land Use, Property Theory, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)