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Boston University School of Law




Professor Michael Sandel's theory of justice is attractive and inspirational for lawyers interested in social change. Sandel's call to go beyond egalitarian liberalism has real and important implications for legal and institutional engineering. However, Sandel's theory of justice is parsimonious of recommendations for medium level institutional design. It offers little detailed guidance to private lawyers called upon to design background rules for the allocation of scarce resources and necessary burdens. This essay will discuss how Sandel's theory of justice may help orient the work of lawyers and policymakers interested in a question that is central to recent property debates: the question of the potential of common ownership for social change.

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