Erza Rosser has a very exciting article, "The Ambition and Transformative Potential of Progressive Property," up on ssrn. It is forthcoming next year in the California Law Review. His abstract is as follows:
The emerging progressive property school of thought champions and finds its meaning in the social nature of property. Rejecting the idea that exclusion lies at the core of property law, progressive property scholars call for a reconsideration of the relationships owners and non-owners have with property and with each other. Despite these ambitions, so far progressive property scholarship has largely confined itself to questions of exclusion and access. This paper argues that such an emphasis glosses over the race-related acquisition and distribution problems that plague American history and property law. The modest structural changes supported by progressive property scholars fail to account for this racial history and, by so doing, present a limited vision of the changes to property law that progressive scholars should support. Though sympathetic with the progressive property political and scholarly orientation and the policy arguments made regarding exclusion and access, I argue that the first priority of any transformative project of progressive property must be revisiting acquisition and distribution.
I might think the reasons that progressive property scholarship does not focus more attention on the issues of acquisition and distribution have something to do with the difficulty of addressing long-ago crimes with regard to acquisition and also the difficulty of remaking the current distribution of property? That is, I'm thinking that the reason progressive property scholarship focuses on the boundaries of exclusion is that exclusion and access are at the edges where it is possible to have change? Or where people may not yet realize that they have rights of access.
The image is a pathway at Monticello, which I thought might suggest some of the possibilities of property scholarship and also remind us of Jefferson's writing on property in early America.