IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/uwltwp/12785.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Liberal Contracts, Relational Contracts And Common Property: Africa And The United States

Author

Listed:
  • Tabachnick, David

Abstract

The core thesis is that Western neoclassical economics and law (particularly Anglo-American) have a peculiar cultural history that biases Western-trained economists and lawyers against common property systems like those found among Africans and American Indians. This Western cultural bias is expressed through the recurrent focus on individuals as atomistic and independent of each other in contract and property law, as well as in economic theory. The bias derives in part from the historical suppression of community property rights that once overlapped individual property rights, as in the case of the enclosure of the commons in England. Well-meaning Western advisors may depart for foreign communities that possess common property systems and year after year, decade after decade, century after century, propose the replacement of existing legal and economic ideas and institutions with Western imports-not realizing the limited utility and contested history, even in the West, of these imported forms. While many of these issues are not new, the oldness of these debates becomes an issue in itself. How does one break the repetitive cycle, the cultural reproduction of bias, by provoking self-assessment?

Suggested Citation

  • Tabachnick, David, 1998. "Liberal Contracts, Relational Contracts And Common Property: Africa And The United States," Working Papers 12785, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwltwp:12785
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/12785
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elbow, Kent M., 1994. "Popular Participation In The Management Of Natural Resources: Lessons From Baban Rafi, Niger," Research Papers 12748, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. David Tabachnick, 2016. "Two Models of Ownership: How Commons Has Co-Existed with Private Property," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(2), pages 488-563, March.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:uwltwp:12785. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ltcwius.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.