Ira Lindsay, Review of James Penner, Property rights: a re-examination

Property rights: a re-examination, by JE Penner, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020, 233 pp, £80.00, ISBN: 9780198830122. James Penner has probably done more than anyone else in legal philosophy to set the terms of debate in property theory for the past two decades. His 1997 book, The Idea of Property in Law initiated a rehabilitation of the unfashionable ‘right to exclude’ theory of property and spurred subsequent work by Henry Smith and Thomas Merrill that reframed the theory of property law more generally in terms of exclusionary rights. It would be too much to say that Penner’s view is the new orthodoxy in property theory, but it would be fair to say that his work has substantially undermined the ascendency of the ‘bundle of rights’ theory of property over the past 25 years. In this book, Penner returns to the debate over the nature of property rights, launches a multi-pronged attack on Hohfeldian analysis of property, and provides a complex critique of recent work in Kantian property theory. Although not especially long, Property Rights: A Re-Examination is dense, containing a range of interlocking arguments addressing a number of different debates in property theory …

Ira K Lindsay, Book Review: Property rights: a re-examination by JE Penner, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020, Jurisprudence: An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought, https://doi.org/10.1080/20403313.2021.1924998. Published online: 7 June 2021.

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