Friday, March 30, 2012

The Property Canon

In 2006, Prawfsblawg put together a "canons project," which attempted to compile a list of the most classic works in each legal discipline (Here's the link to the post on cannonical property works).  PropertyProfs own Ben Barros suggested the following list:

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"

In the comments thread at Prawfsblawg, others made equally adept suggestions.  My question for today is this:  With a decade's worth of hindsight, which articles from the early 2000's do we need to add to the canon? 

Steve Clowney

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Anything written by Henry Smith!

Posted by: Neil Foster | Mar 30, 2012 4:21:22 AM

I would add the Gridlock Economy by Michael Heller.

Posted by: Jeff | Mar 30, 2012 7:55:32 AM

James Penner, The Idea of Property in Law
Tony Honore, Ownership
Ellickson, Order Without Law
And easily half a dozen Merrill/Smith articles

Posted by: James Stern | Mar 30, 2012 9:55:41 AM

Sorry -- misread the question.

For articles from the early 2000s, maybe Merrill/Smith's "Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property" or "Property/Contract Interface."

Posted by: James Stern | Mar 30, 2012 11:27:46 AM

What about Fennell?

Posted by: Thomas Gibbons NZ | Apr 1, 2012 6:30:59 PM

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