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Land Wars: The Politics of Property and Community

John G. Francis and Leslie Pickering Francis
Land Wars: The Politics of Property and Community
ISBN: 978-1-55587-684-5
2003/229 pages/LC: 2002036608
Explorations in Public Policy

"Examining who should enjoy the privilege of decisionmaking, this excellent book will cause readers to reassess their views of land-use policies and property rights."—Laurel Phoenix, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay


"It's my land, I can do whatever I want with it." "This is our neighborhood (or city, or park), and we should be the ones deciding how it's used." These are two strongly held—and diametrically opposed—views of appropriate land use. As John G. and Leslie Pickering Francis demonstrate, the debate about what to do with land is messy, complex, and often based on dangerously misguided principles.

Raising the question of what rights "owners"—community, as well as individual—in fact "have," the Francises argue that land stewardship transcends narrow spatial definitions. Their analysis of the discourse about property ownership offers a sophisticated, much-needed approach to land-use policy.


John G. Francis is professor of political science at the University of Utah. Leslie Pickering Francis is professor of philosophy and Alfred C. Emery Professor of Law at the University of Utah.


  • Property and Community: Localist Paradigms.
  • Misreading the Paradigm of Private Property.
  • Legal Accommodation of Private and Public Values.
  • Concepts of Community and Land Use.
  • Beyond Locality in Land-Use Decisions.
  • Guardianship of Global and Systemic Problems.
  • Land Use in an Interconnected World.