Global animal law, introducing an intersectional ethical framework in order to reconceptualise legal research on international trade and animal law

  • Iyan Offor

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis seeks to answer the question: to what extent can introducing an intersectional ethical framework to global animal law help to reconceptualise legal research on international trade and animal law. This thesis provides an ethics-based, critical, intersectional and posthumanist analysis of emerging global animal law (scholarship) and the disproportionately large impact of international trade law on its normative growth. This thesis provides five novel contributions to global animal law literature. First, this thesis builds an ethical toolbox from posthumanism, feminist ethics, intersectionality theory and Earth Jurisprudence. On this basis, this thesis delineates, for the first time, a second wave of animal ethics which is utilised as an ethics-based methodology for this research. Second, this thesis crafts a new critical narrative of animal law by putting various forms of (global) animal law into dialogue with global law metatheory and second wave animal ethics, critiquing global animal law (scholarship) for ethnocentrism and coloniality. Third, this thesis problematises trade policy’s impact on animals by introducing new, critical analysis of its neoliberal underpinnings. This requires filling critical research gaps in the trade linkage debate by using complex trade data and qualitative analyses of law to assess the impact of trade on animal welfare. Fourth, this thesis critiques the unacknowledged dominance of unilateralism in trade law responses to the animal question. This critique identifies coloniality in trade law responses to the animal question which entrenches harmful norms within global animal law. Finally, this thesis utilises second wave animal ethics to reach a new set of proposals to improve global animal law’s response to trade and animal welfare issues. The recommendations are for: more diverse scholarship and critical academic spaces; multilateral and multi-level global animal law solutions to problems caused by international trade; and an incorporation of animal welfare into WTO multilateral committee work.
Date of Award8 Mar 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorStephanie Switzer (Supervisor) & Antonio Cardesa-Salzmann (Supervisor)

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