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Monday, May 21, 2018
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Towards a theory of possession
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Towards a theory of possession

26 pages · 5.00 EUR
(October 2016)

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This article elaborates on the theory of ownership developed by Gunnar Heinsohn and Otto Steiger. While we cannot but agree with Hann and Hart (2011) when they write that ownership studies "is a highly contested field in which there is disagreement over even the most basic concepts", we believe that Heinsohn and Steiger’s approach has one crucial advantage over other theories: it can easily be discussed by different specialists – economists, legal experts but also anthropologists, sociologists or historians – belonging to different orientations, whether institutional, environmental, Marxist or even more conventional ones like Hernando de Soto's. In that sense, Heinsohn and Steiger’s framework could be the basis for more integration in the field of ownership studies.

Their approach to ownership crucially distinguishes between two broad types of institutional regimes: those based on 'possession' such as tribal and feudal communities (including socialist command economies) and those based on 'property'.

quotable essay from ...
Jan Beaufort, Frank Decker (Hg.):
"Eigentum, Zins und Geld" nach 20 Jahren
the authors
Prof. Dr. Julien-François Gerber

Assistenzprofessor an der Royal University of Bhutan in Kanglung. Er beschäftigt sich mit Fragen der ökonomischen Anthropologie, politischer Ökologie, sozial-ökologischer Ökonomie und Entwicklungsstudien.

Prof. Dr. em. Rolf Steppacher
Rolf Steppacher

emeritierter Professor for Entwicklungsstudien am Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Genf. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte sind Institutionenökonomie und Ökologische Ökonomie.