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Property and Human Flourishing$
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Gregory S. Alexander

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190860745

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190860745.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 March 2021

Expropriations and Eminent Domain

Expropriations and Eminent Domain

(p.209) 7 Expropriations and Eminent Domain
Property and Human Flourishing

Gregory S. Alexander

Oxford University Press

The power to expropriate land for the common good can be understood in terms quite different from those that are usually offered. The justification for expropriation here rests on a conception of property’s underlying purpose as promoting human flourishing. The forced sale of land is necessary to create and maintain the material conditions that are necessary prerequisites for all members of society to have well-lived lives. Specifically, these material conditions include a certain physical infrastructure that is necessary for individuals to develop human capabilities. Kelo v. City of New London is an appropriate case to use as a vehicle for considering how the human flourishing theory addresses the public use requirement. This chapter examines Kelo from a comparative perspective, using German constitutional law to see how a more overtly purposive method of reasoning can clarify when it is legitimate for the state to force sales of private property and when it is not.

Keywords:   expropriations, public use, purposive, Kelo, private property

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