Good-bye to the Public-Private Divide

Eric T. Freyfogle

in Agrarianism and the Good Society

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780813124391
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134888 | DOI:
Good-bye to the Public-Private Divide

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This chapter discusses the issue of land ownership, with particular attention to the distinction between private and public lands. One major difference between private and public land ownership resides in who has the final decision over how land should be used. Decisions about public lands are mostly made by public decision-makers. On the other hand, private owners have a greater say in land-use decisions, but lawmakers commonly play important roles. Despite this distinction, there are some overlaps between two forms of ownership, owing mainly to the fact that both are defined by law and, as such, should serve to benefit the common good. The challenge in attempting to get truly good land use is coming up with better ways of combining public and private interests on the same piece of land. In discussions on land ownership and property rights, the idea that private and public ownership are two distinct categories should be eliminated to create better land-management arrangements.

Keywords: public land ownership; private-land ownership; good land use; land use regulations; property rights; common good

Chapter.  9254 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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