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The Open Society and Its Animals

On 10 October 2019, Janneke Vink defended her thesis 'The Open Society and Its Animals'. The doctoral research was supervised by Prof. P.B. Cliteur.

Janneke Vink
10 October 2019
Leiden Repository

The Open Society and Its Animals is an interdisciplinary study centred on the political and legal position of animals in liberal democracies. With due concern for both animals and the sustainability of liberal democracies, The Open Society and Its Animals seeks to redefine animals’ political-legal position in the most successful political model of our time: the liberal democracy.The dual focus on both animals and the open society is reflected in the book’s main research question: Should the fundamental structures of liberal democracies reflect the fact that many non-human animals are individuals with interests, and is this possible without undermining or destabilizing their institutions? The first, normative, stage of the investigation asks whether the fact that many animals have interests should have consequences for the fundamental structures of liberal democracies, and if so, what criteria the new political-legal position of animals should meet (‘enfranchisement criteria’). The second stage of the investigation involves an inquiry into the current political-legal position of non-human animals in liberal democracies, the extent to which this position meets the just mentioned enfranchisement criteria, and how this position could possibly be improved.

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