Matters of ownership: a ‘People’s Port’ for Dover?

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Anne Bottomley
Nathan Moore



Focusing upon the recent (and possibly on-going) process of privatisation of the port of Dover, this paper seeks to move away from the idea that appropriation involves the annexation of some pre-existing ‘thing’, by some pre-existing entity that can subsequently act as ‘owner’, in order to begin to ask how it is that processes of appropriating assemble different agents and agendas, so as to constitute the possibility of both the ‘owner’ and the ‘property’ as such. What we see in relation to Dover is a shortfall in the current available mechanisms for owning property, where those who are to be constituted as the owners are identified as the local community – or, as the scheme is referred to in Dover, where the asset is to become the ‘People’s Port’. What this shortfall makes visible is a confluence of various interests, as they endeavour to promote and, where necessary, seek to create, a way to crystallise the asset as a particular (and potentially novel) property form, for the benefit of the locality.

Abstract 97 | NILQ 64.3.7 Bottomley and Moore Downloads 58