Home Ownership: What territorial rights theory can tell us about the concept of home
Lo Coco, Laura
In this short paper I suggest that the transition of the concept of home as a place where the individual develops the self, to a mere ‘house’, that is a mere object that can be exchanged and the value of which is essentially financial, is facilitated by the association of home ownership with the archetypical property right. The concept of ‘home’ is a normatively important concept that informs our imaginary. We think of home as the place where we go back to, as opposed to the place we travel to and visit. It is the place where our family is, and where we feel safe. The idea of home has informed much of the discussion on refugees and collective self-determination, and the normative importance of this safe space has been the focus of theories of global justice. However, the private dimension of ‘home’ although present and central to our private lives, has not received sufficient attention in the debate about property rights. Although he classic theories of property recognise the importance of ownership for the development of the self, this aspect is rarely foundational of rights to private property, which have mainly been advanced as the protection of a space of non-interference.