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A case for constitutional protection of entitlements as property

Property and the Politics of Entitlement

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John Brigham

"[This book] is quite interesting and well written. It concerns not only a timely issue in constitutional politics but one with strong historical roots as well. It fuses a traditional concern of constitutional politics, property rights, with arguments in favor of extending the constitutional basis of property more effectively to entitlements. The political ramifications of such new thrusts are enormous."
Professor Burton Atkins, Florida State University

In this book, John Brigham makes a case for constitutional protection of entitlements as property. He argues that the legal definition of property is based on expectations founded on positive law, which may or may not be related to the Lockean notion that labor creates property. While books on constitutional property generally have had a conservative orientation and have tried to defend great wealth, this book does not. Brigham argues that property as a fundamental right guarantees the entitlements of rich and poor alike.

Focusing on "entitlement," a particular facet of property, the author refers to the legitimate expectations that people have about what they believe to be rightfully and legally theirs. With a political and epistemological approach, he examines who creates the stuff called property and enables its treatment as a fundamental right, and he studies such related issues as tax and development policy.

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About the Author(s)

John Brigham, a Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the author of four other books, including The Cult of the Court (Temple).

Subject Categories

Political Science and Public Policy

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