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    The socio-spatial composition of property relationships

    Ronan, Harley Arron (2022) The socio-spatial composition of property relationships. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This thesis presents a novel analysis of the composition, endurance and effects of property relations through the utilisation of the approach and methods of actor-network theory (‘ANT’). As such, it challenges the limitations of much contemporary property theory, and argues that ‘property’ has not been sufficiently understood within, through, or by, the presumptions within which orthodox property theory remains predicated. The argument is made that contemporary property theory still tends to be characterised by simplistic ontological assumptions which posit property as a coherent social or legal relationship between humans in respect of objects. Further, property theory as developed in legal scholarship views law as a foundational source of property, and presents space and time as inert, pre-existing contexts onto which property is mapped. In contrast, this thesis builds on recent work which explores property in socio-relational and socio-spatial terms: that is, how property takes form, endures and has effect, and is constituted and constituting, within social ordering. Although ANT has been deployed by legal scholars investigating the extension of property forms into contexts other than land (notably intellectual property), it has not, until now, been used in the context of property in land, or directly into confrontation with the orthodoxies of property theory. In contributing to property theory, this thesis reveals how ‘subjects’ and ‘objects’ are effects of network formation rather than pre-given constituents; how non-humans participate in the construction and dynamics of property; how law is contingent rather than foundational; and how space and time are constructed in the processes of making property. Further, by imputing ‘logics’ onto processes of network formation, this thesis highlights property’s variable effects on social life, reinforcing suggestions that, while property is central to contemporary forms of exploitation, it is capable of being remade in alternative, progressive and imaginary ways.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 16:16
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:26


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