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The concept of violence: a proposed framework for the study of animal protection law and policy

McEwan, Alexandra Broughton

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This thesis provides a critical framework and a set of methodological tools for analysing animal protection law and policy issues. These tools support the generation of law reform strategies that are responsive to the social and economic conditions of the 21st century. The thesis adopts Australia’s animal protection regime as a case example. Within this field of legal discourse, animal protection is defined according to an operative opposition between ‘animal...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMcEwan, Alexandra Broughton
dc.date.accessioned2017-02-26T23:19:45Z
dc.date.available2017-02-26T23:19:45Z
dc.identifier.otherb43715552
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/112649
dc.description.abstractThis thesis provides a critical framework and a set of methodological tools for analysing animal protection law and policy issues. These tools support the generation of law reform strategies that are responsive to the social and economic conditions of the 21st century. The thesis adopts Australia’s animal protection regime as a case example. Within this field of legal discourse, animal protection is defined according to an operative opposition between ‘animal cruelty’ and ‘animal welfare’. While, as discrete concepts, animal cruelty and animal welfare (hereafter cruelty-welfare) may be important and useful, the cruelty-welfare opposition not only structures the field, but underlies a classificatory dynamic by which the relations of power that maintain the status quo are reproduced. Such circumstances constitute what French sociologist and anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu refers to as ‘symbolic violence’. The recognition of these dynamics, and the apparent intractability of the status quo, suggests that a new analytical pathway is needed. It is against this background that the thesis tests whether violence offers a useful alternative frame of analysis. The response to the thesis question is developed using a cross-disciplinary method that combines legal analysis with aspects of political philosophy and anthropological theory. It develops and applies a method within a framework by which animal protection law is understood in terms of symbolic violence. It adopts Bourdieu’s method for the analysis of a ‘field’ and his concept of ‘habitus’ and combines these methodological tools with political philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s notion of the anthropological machine. It also draws on Alan Norrie’s arguments about legal individualism under the influence of neoliberalism. Australia’s animal protection regime is reconfigured as a Bourdieusian field. The analysis of habitus is informed by a notion of interdependence based on Agamben’s anthropological machine. It is via this unique combination of Bourdieu’s analytical tools and Agamben’s notion of the anthropological machine, along with insights about legal individualism drawn from Alan Norrie’s work, that the concept of violence is extended beyond its use by other animal protection legal theorists. The methodology supports the generation of law reform strategies and provides fresh insights as to why effective law reform in the area of animal protection law is so difficult. The notion of the anthropological machine is used to reconfigure the classificatory dynamics that take place at the human-animal boundary, within animal protection as an area of criminal law. It focuses on the necessity test that lies at the heart of the offence of animal cruelty, and how the classificatory dynamics that underlie the cruelty-welfare opposition have implications not only for animal cruelty defendants but for other marginalised participants within this field. It is in this vein that, in its deployment of the concept of violence, the thesis situates the interests of animals and humans within the animal protection field as interdependent, rather than parallel, realms of inquiry. Construing Agamben in this way facilitates the extension of Bourdieu’s concept of field to the circumstances of animal use in the 21st century. The methodology outlined above is tested in three case studies, presented as a triptych: 1. Whistleblowing in the interests of animal protection within the pork industry; 2. A critique of Queensland’s new ‘serious animal cruelty’ offence; and 3. The potential and limits of law reform relating to animal use industries in Australia, using the greyhound racing industry as a case example.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectAnimal Protection Law and Policy
dc.subjectAnimals and the Law
dc.subjectPierre Bourdieu
dc.subjectCriminal Law
dc.subjectSymbolic Violence
dc.subjectViolence against Animals
dc.subjectStructural Violence
dc.subjectAnimal Cruelty
dc.subjectAnimal Protection
dc.subjectAnimal Welfare
dc.subjectGiorgio Agamben
dc.titleThe concept of violence: a proposed framework for the study of animal protection law and policy
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorNolan, Mark
local.contributor.supervisorcontactmark.nolan@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2016
local.description.notesThe author has deposited the thesis.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2016
local.contributor.affiliationANU College of Law
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d74e7af5a903
local.mintdoimint
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