chapter  1
42 Pages

'A Functional Analysis of Property Rights, with Special Reference to Indonesia'

Property regimes and property rights have been a central theme in social and economic theory

and policy throughout the past two centuries. It always has been a highly politically and

ideologically loaded topic linked to intense and at times violent conflict. Both theories and

policies concerning property regimes have suffered from ideological overtones in their

justifications for maintaining or changing the current situation. Oriented towards action and desired states of property relationships, they have also suffered from a fixation on the future, and

on how property regimes should be. Writing about 'the requirements of a compelling political

theory of property', Reeve has recently formulated these concerns in the following way:

'First, that there should be a coherent account of the relation between any value

commitments and the desirable structure of property; and secondly, that it should take

account of existing circumstances: that is, if legitimate property is inconsistent with existing

arrangements, there should be some specification of what needs to be changed and some

plausible proposal for realizing the legitimate system (Reeve 1991:111 ). '