Owning land versus governing a land: Property, sovereignty, and nationalism: Sam Fleischacker

Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):373-403 (2013)
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This essay attempts to clarify the distinction between property and sovereignty, and to bring out the importance of that distinction to a liberal nationalism. Beginning with common intuitions about what distinguishes our rights to our possessions from the state's rightful governance over us, it proceeds to explore some historical sources of these intuitions, and the importance of a sharp distinction between ownership and governance to the rise of liberalism. From here, the essay moves into an exploration of group ownership, and the ways in which group ownership can in practice turn into an illiberal kind of sovereignty The point is to shed new light on problems that nationalist states — states purporting to represent or foster a particular group identity — characteristically face. Examples of these problems, from the Israel/Palestine conflict, are put forth in the conclusion.



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Sam Fleischacker
University of Illinois, Chicago

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References found in this work

On Nationality.David Miller - 1995 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights.Will Kymlicka - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):250-253.
Nations, States, and Territory.Anna Stilz - 2011 - Ethics 121 (3):572-601.
Liberal Nationalism.Yael Tamir - 1995 - Ethics 105 (3):626-645.

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