In this paper, I suggest that property has an institutional or political morality from which the social purposes of property – and the form appropriate to it – may be derived. An institutional or political morality identifies the norms that are required for an institution to play its part within a constitutional order that meets the requirements of justice and legality. I contrast this approach with a strand of progressive property theory, developed in Gregory Alexander’s Property and Human Flourishing, that grounds a thick social-obligation norm in property law in interpersonal morality rather than institutional or political morality.
Katz, Larissa M, It’s Not Personal: Social Obligations in the Office of Ownership (January 17, 2020). Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, forthcoming.