Animals and Political Theory

Convenors: Steve Cooke (s.cooke@keele.ac.uk), Federico Zuolo (federico.zuolo@unipv.it)

Abstracts of up to 300 words are invited for a panel on ‘Animals, Disagreement and Political Agency’, to be held as part of the annual MANCEPT Conference, 8-10th September, at the University of Manchester. The focus of the panel will be upon the related topics of animal rights activism and how we can theorize and respond to disagreements about the moral status of animals. Contributions by political philosophers and ethical theorists are welcome. We encourage abstracts which relate to the following (and to comparable topics):

 

Political Agency

  • Theorizing Animal Rescue, Direct Action, Civil Disobedience and Sabotage by the Sea Shepherds, the Animal Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Victoria.
  • The boundaries between activism, extremism and terrorism.
  • Whether or not liberation is an appropriate goal of activism.
  • Models and concepts for effective political agency.
  • Animal agency and political agency.

 

Disagreement over the moral status of animals

 

  • Can liberal theories of public reason address the issue of the moral status of animals?

 

  • Can there be reasonable disagreement about the moral status of non-human animals?

 

  • How should liberal institutions deal with disagreement about the moral status of animals?

 

  • What kind of method, if any, should be employed to settle such disagreement?
  • Is state neutrality toward this issue possible?

 

  • Is a principled consensus on the treatment of non-human animals possible?

 

  • Is there any place for animals in Rawls’s theory and in other liberal theories?

 

Previous speakers at the MANCEPT panel on Animals and Political Theory include Robert Garner, Alasdair Cochrane, Siobhan O’Sullivan, and Tony Milligan.