Matrix on Point: Expropriation: Global Perspectives on Property and Power

Sign reading no to abusive expropriation

Expropriation — the seizing of property by a state authority for public use — is seeing an upsurge in interest as a possible response to a number of pressing global challenges, including the climate crisis, outdated infrastructure, new technologies, and renewed commitments to economic sovereignty. To provide context for current discussions, it is useful to take stock of how expropriation has been used in the past. This panel will bring together experts from diverse regions to discuss the use of expropriation for the common good in the 20th and 21st centuries.


  • Sai Balakrishnan is Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, in a joint appointment with the Department of City & Regional Planning and Global Metropolitan Studies at UC Berkeley.
  • Puck Engman is Assistant Professor of China Since 1949 in the Department of History at UC Berkeley and a 2022-2023 Matrix Faculty Fellow.
  • Noel Maurer is Associate Professor of International Affairs and International Business at the George Washington University
  • Caitlin Rosenthal (moderator) is Associate Professor in the UC Berkeley Department of History.


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