"Property, Precarity & Power"

Nick Blomley,  Simon Fraser University

Property law structures relations of access and use; private property protects access to some while denying access to others. In that sense, property is of constitutional significance: it constitutes a social order, for better or for worse. I suggest that one way in which we can assess the constitutional work of property, both analytically and ethically, is in relation to a particular conception of 'legal precarity’. By this, I mean the ways in which many people have a ‘precarious’ access to property, governed by property relations that are 'liable to changed or lost at the pleasure or will of another'. I use this to consider the relationship between housing, poverty, and property law, focusing on the particular legal actions of eviction and trespass. 


February 17th, 3:30 pm, 180 Science Hall