SMNR: Property & Governance

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE 3:30 - 5:20 pm TNH 3.129

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This course will explore some of the controversies over governance that current hot-button land-use decision-making involves. Should solar roof owners beat out neighbors using properties in competing ways? Should local governments grant tax incentives to deluxe non-local retailers to create a vibrant economic mix, or should they maintain a level playing field to help locally-owned businesses to thrive? How should scarce or over-burdened water resources be protected and from whom? Should governments "take" privately-owned land for re- development if other private interests benefit from the taking? How should local governments deal with neighborhood deterioration due to bankruptcy- related abandonments? How can tragic outcomes like disaster-mismanagement be avoided or, as a first-rung issue, be understood? Examining the governance choices that issues such as these implicate requires that we use the analytic training that legal studies provide in places that we will -- as citizens and as lawyers, judges, entrepreneurs, or politicians -- be using those skills ongoingly: at ground-level, where law and politics converge. That is where these kinds of governance decisions get made. The materials for this course will be eclectic and will include case law, case studies, popular accounts, scholarly commentary, film, and guest-participants who have been involved in studying our topics as experts or as decision-makers themselves. This is a writing seminar. Students will write a supervised research paper, in lieu of an exam. This course may qualify for fulfillment of the upper-level writing seminar requirement, but need not, if a student has already satisfied the requirement through another 397s course. This seminar will meet conjointly with the first-year course of the same name, but it will be graded as a separate course. There are no prerequisites.