Historical Social Research

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Bernd Ladwig: Animal Rights – Politicised, but not Humanised. An Interest-Based Critique of Citizenship for Domesticated Animals [Abstract]

Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka argue for a political theory of animal rights. However, their vision of Zoopolis is political in the wrong way, because it deviates from an interest-oriented conception of rights. This argument is explicated by examining the model of citizenship that Donaldson and Kymlicka employ to sketch out just relations between human beings and domesticated animals. This model disregards the fact that animals are incapable of understanding the normative content of citizenship. Animals have no concept of themselves as free and equal citizens and cannot intentionally influence political communities as such. Their objective interest encompasses the aspect of membership that is part of the status of citizenship but does not include a further aspect – active political participation.

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