LOCKE VERSUS HOBBES: POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PROPERTY RIGHTS

Authors

  • Jennis J. Biser

Keywords:

Property Rights, Natural Law, Political Economy, Eminent Domain, Kelo

Abstract

Secure property rights and the rule of law are crucial for economic growth, a topic included in every economics principles textbook and many upper division elective courses. SCOTUS decisions regarding property rights provide useful material for discussing these issues. Seventeenth century political philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke offered very different views of the role of the state and therights of man. While also of historical interest, this framework sets the stage for debate regarding the proper role of the state, the judiciary, philosophical influences that determine judicial decisions and the implications for takings under the Fifth Amendment. This article provides a detailed outline of their views with a focus on their treatment of individual liberty and property rights. To facilitate instructor preparation for classroom discussion, extensive references to the original texts are included.

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Published

2020-06-19