Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Property? A Longitudinal Analysis of Property Regime Transformation in China

Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 12, No. 2

28 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2018

See all articles by Ting Xu

Ting Xu

University of Essex - School of Law; London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: May 25, 2017

Abstract

This article critiques the artificiality of the context-free and a historical approaches to theorising the evolution of property. It starts with an overview of a number of evolutionary accounts, underpinned by different theories of institutions and institutional change, in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ institutional economics. Special emphasis is given to an argument for a contextual approach to property regime transformation discussed with reference to Veblenian and Schumpeterian theories of institutions. That being done, the essay engages in a longitudinal analysis of property regime transformation in China, which helps to critically evaluate various evolutionary theories of property. The essay then identifies four major flaws in mainstream studies of the evolution of property: the mixing up of different types of property; the overlooking of hybrid property regimes; the overemphasis of external factors; and reliance on a teleological model. It is concluded that in order to establish a more sophisticated framework to analyse the evolution of property, we need to examine the ways in which the changes in context and property institutions co-evolve over time. The closing commentary also sheds light on the possibility of broadening the scope of property law via this study.

Keywords: property evolution, property regime transformation, innovative property regime transformation, institutional change, evolutionary theories

Suggested Citation

Xu, Ting, Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Property? A Longitudinal Analysis of Property Regime Transformation in China (May 25, 2017). Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 12, No. 2 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3123227

Ting Xu (Contact Author)

University of Essex - School of Law ( email )

Colchester, Essex CO43SQ
United Kingdom
CO4 3SQ (Fax)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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