Steve Cooke

measuring the boundaries of our nation by the sun


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Animal Rights and Environmental Terrorism

My paper ‘Animal Rights and Environmental Terrorism’ just been published in the Journal of Terrorism Research. In the paper, I argue that not only are many paradigmatic, putative acts of animal rights and environmental terrorism such as illegal animal liberation and tree-spiking not terrorism at all, but also that even those that are terrorism may justified nevertheless (or at least are not straightforwardly wrongful). In the paper, I also lay out a taxonomy of animal rights/environmental direct action, separating acts into civil disobedience, rescue acts, sabotage, and terrorism.

The Journal is Open Access and operates with a Creative Commons licence, so there’s no pay-wall to negotiate. Link: http://ojs.st-andrews.ac.uk/index.php/jtr/article/view/532

The paper was written while I was employed as the Society for Applied Philosophy‘s 30th Anniversary Research Fellow, so thanks are due to them for funding my research.


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New book: Animal Rights without Liberation


My good friend and all round excellent scholar Alasdair Cochrane has just published a new book. You should all buy it – I know I’m going to.  To give you a flavour, here’s a review by another great scholar, John Hadley:

“Readers unfamiliar with animal rights may find the very idea perplexing. Aren’t rights reserved for human beings only? Come to think of it, aren’t rights reserved for only certain kinds of human beings, namely, persons—people who possess sophisticated psychological capacities?

Animal rights philosophers like Alasdair Cochrane (Department of Politics, Sheffield University) are in the business of challenging the orthodox view about rights. In Animal Rights without Liberation he offers a qualified position—animals have a right not to suffer and a right not to be killed but they do not have a right to liberty. In other words, people may continue to own and use animals so long as they do not kill them or cause too much pain in the process….”

Read the rest of the review here: http://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/blog/23/01/2013/book-review-animal-rights-without-liberation-alasdair-cochrane