Understanding the relationship of democracy and property ownership is one of the most important tasks for contemporary political philosophy. Surprisingly, philosophers writing on democracy and ownership rarely discuss their interconnectedness. This paper aims to clarify how a normative concept of property arrangements fosters democracy. On the one hand, it argues that democracy depends on a hybrid form of private and social ownership of productive assets that is a feature of economic democracy. The basic aspect of this conception can be captured by the claim that for securing the political liberties a widespread dispersal of property in productive resources is required that minimizes the formation of prejudices and therefore improves the conditions of deliberative democracy. On the other hand, this paper argues that freedom is most central for the justification of property rights. Instead of justifying property rights by external principles of justice, democracy and legitimacy, it argues that the notion of ownership is not intelligible as long as one leaves the concept of freedom aside.
As an open forum for discussion, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie promotes dialog between different philosophical cultures, transcending any one school of thought. The journal primarily publishes studies that are actively engaged in modern international philosophical discourse and explore new conceptual approaches. In addition to scholarly papers, essays, interviews, and symposia, the journal presents discussions and book reviews.