Nonhuman animals and sovereignty: On Zoopolis, failed states and institutional relationships with free-living animals
A problem for those – academics and activists – concerned with human relationships with nonhuman animals (NHAs) is the nature of our relationship with free-living, or “wild”, NHAs, especially given the huge levels of NHA death and suffering in nature. There are at least two ways we can think about this issue. One is at the individual, “moral” level; we can ask questions about the relationship we should as individuals have with free-living NHAs, and concerning our individual response to suffering and death in nature. The other way to think about this is at the collective, political, institutional level. This entails asking questions about what kind of relationship it is appropriate for us as states and societies to have with free-living NHAs, and about what, if anything, the state should do about the suffering and death of free-living NHAs. The two are, of course, linked, as political change relies upon the actions of individuals. Thus, one could be an activist for free-living NHAs by helping them directly, or by agitating for political reform.
Department of Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- International Relations, Politics and History