Document Type



This article has been published in Socio-Legal Review, vol. 6 (2010).


This article reviews Max Weber’s scholarly work pertaining to property, beginning with his first dissertation and ending with the compilation that is Economy and Society. Three phases of Weber’s work are described in detail: a legal phase, an economic-historical phase, and a sociological phase. It is argued that the sociological phase represents the culmination of the two prior phases, drawing on material and arguments from those earlier phases. In the sociological phase of his writing, it is argued that Weber developed a theory of property that is capable of accounting for that phenomenon in all of its dimensions: structural, material, and symbolic. The goal of the article is to show Weber’s relevance to contemporary theories of property: legal, sociological, and economic.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Max Weber