The first attempt to address comparative property law in a common integrative framework, this study discusses German, Italian, French, American, and British property law as mere variations based upon a few fundamental themes through which these nations developed legal systems to provide responses to common economic problems and to set legal foundations for working markets. Basic Principles of Property Law was produced to offer a common framework for the discussion of the law of property within countries in transition, thus it has its basis, not on just one legal system, but on the institutional commonalties that make western property law a working market institution. It offers a major challenge to conventional thinking that in property law the differences between common law and civil law are so important that "common core" research is impossible. Mattei hopes to guide the reader to think comparatively about property by shedding many preconceived formalistic abstractions. The substance of property law, he argues, is much more common throughout the Western legal tradition than legal scholars would have us believe. Through a set format and accessible writing, this book looks at national legal traditions as responses to common economic problems. It sets the foundations for further much needed integrative comparative legal research in the domain of property law.