Private Property and Political Power in a Liberal-Democratic Society

Summary

The legitimacy of political institutions in liberal-democratic societies depends upon a clear split between the private and the public sphere. Political institutions protect public interests and private individuals/groups can freely pursue their private interests. In early-liberal political philosophy this was expressed by the concept of property: the state’s exercise of political power is legitimate to the extent that it protects private property, which is then left alone. However, three developments highlight that the contemporary economy diverges from this image of a clear private/public split: (i) the spill-overs of inequalities in private wealth to the political sphere, (ii) the political effects of the activities of corporations and (iii) the quasi-public functions fulfilled by common property initiatives. These interpenetrations of the private and public sphere risk hollowing out liberalism’s claim that political institutions are well equipped to protect public interests. This project investigates whether and how liberal political philosophy should be updated to take account of these developments, focusing on the need for a new conceptualization of property and its function in the legitimation of the exercise of political power. The development of such a conception would thus be an important innovation in liberal philosophy, which will help citizens and policy-makers to come to a better understanding of the role of private property in the current economic landscape. The project thereby shows whether liberal commitments to private freedom and public democracy can be sustained and points to new institutions of property and accountability for doing so.

Output

Book or monography

Chapter in book

Scientific article

Professional publication

  • Y. Al Salman, R.J.G. Claassen(2018): From Ownership to Access. A Philosophical Perspective on the Rise of Access-based Consumption pp. 566 - 576

Publication meant for a broad audience

Publications for the general public

  • RJG Claassen(2017): Are Corporations Political Institutions?
  • Y Al Salman(2018): Common Property, Democracy, and the Principle of Proportionality
  • D Timmer, Y Al Salman(2018): State Neutrality and the Moral Limits of Markets
  • M Bennett(2018): The corporate power trilemma
  • M Bennett(2018): An epistemic argument for an egalitarian public sphere
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2018): Systeembanken? Systeembedrijven!
  • M Bennett(2018): The corporate trilemma: Responding to corporate power
  • M Bennett(2018): How to argue for workplace democracy
  • Y Al Salman(2018): Starting from World Ownership: Stopping Anywhere
  • M Bennett, R.J.G. Claassen(2018): The corporate trilemma: Responding to corporate power
  • Y Al Salman, D Timmer(2018): State Neutrality and the Moral Limits of Markets
  • M Bennett(2018): The corporate trilemma: Responding to corporate power
  • M Bennett(2018): How to argue for workplace democracy
  • M Bennett(2018): Justifying the corporation (or not)
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Capabilities, Agency, and Affiliation
  • Y Al Salman(2019): The Commons and the Common Good
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Moeten bedrijven een zorgplicht hebben?
  • Y Al Salman(2019): Institutional Design at the crossroads of Law, Governance and Fairness
  • Y Al Salman(2019): The Commons and the Common Good
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): De macht van (grote) bedrijven
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): De macht van (grote) bedrijven
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Vrijheid in (Neo-)Liberale Tijden
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Schaarste – een filosofisch perspectief
  • M Bennett(2019): The choice of efficiencies and the necessity of politics
  • Y. Al Salman, H. Brouwer, R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Inequality and Democracy
  • Y Al Salman(2019): Private Property and the Crisis of Democracy
  • H Brouwer(2019): Een Andere Blik op Politiek en Portemonnee, Jonge Filosofen Vinden het Hoog Tijd
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Private eigendom, publieke macht. Op weg naar een nieuw feodalisme
  • Y Al Salman(2019): Defending Common Property: A How To
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Guarding against Exploitation. Towards a Power-based Theory of the Corporation
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Het einde van de grote verhalen
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Capability sufficientarianism
  • Y Al Salman(2019): De Politieke Filosofie van Privaat Eigendom
  • Y Al Salman(2019): Common Property Regimes and Democratic Governance
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): De rol van bedrijven
  • H Brouwer(2019): Verdienste, Toeval, en Rechtvaardigheid
  • M Bennett(2019): The choice of efficiencies and the necessity of politics
  • Y Al Salman(2019): Property and the Inheritance of Wealth
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Vrijheid in (neo-)liberale tijden
  • Y Al Salman(2019): Citizen Initiatives, Urban Commons and Inequalities in Shaping Public Spaces
  • M Bennett(2019): Business ethics and the corporate democratic deficit
  • M Bennett(2019): Workplace democracy as distributive justice
  • W van der Deijl, H Brouwer(2019): Can Subjectivism Account for Degrees of Wellbeing
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Guarding against Exploitation. Towards a Power-based Theory of the Corporation
  • H Brouwer(2019): Extreme rijkdom
  • H Brouwer(2019): Waarom de baas van ING geen supersalaris verdient. En jij ook niet
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Capabilities in a Just Society
  • R.J.G. Claassen(2019): Capability Sufficientarianism
  • D Timmer, H Brouwer(2019): Earning too Much: The Case for Maximum Income Policies

Details

Project number

360-20-390

Main applicant

Dr. R.J.G. Claassen

Affiliated with

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, Departement Wijsbegeerte

Team members

Y. Al Salman MSc, M.P.B. Bennett, H.M. Brouwer MA MSc, S Lajoie

Duration

01/09/2017 to 01/04/2022