Will Kymlicka

Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights

Chinese, Dutch, German, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Polish, Spanish, and French.

...deeply serious and brilliantly written.. Zoopolis is in fact a courageous book and an intellectual tour de force. It is the most important philosophical work on human-animal relationships since Singer's Animal Liberation.

Richard Keshen, Literary Review of Canada

Zoopolis offers a new agenda for the theory and practice of animal rights. Most animal rights theory focuses on the intrinsic capacities or interests of animals, and the moral status and moral rights that these intrinsic characteristics give rise to. Zoopolis shifts the debate from the realm of moral theory and applied ethics to the realm of political theory, focusing on the relational obligations that arise from the varied ways that animals relate to human societies and institutions. Building on recent developments in the political theory of group-differentiated citizenship, Zoopolis introduces us to the genuine "political animal". It argues that different types of animals stand in different relationships to human political communities. Domesticated animals should be seen as full members of human-animal mixed communities, participating in the cooperative project of shared citizenship. Wilderness animals, by contrast, form their own sovereign communities entitled to protection against colonization, invasion, domination and other threats to self-determination. `Liminal' animals who are wild but live in the midst of human settlement (such as crows or raccoons) should be seen as "denizens", resident of our societies, but not fully included in rights and responsibilities of citizenship. To all of these animals we owe respect for their basic inviolable rights. But we inevitably and appropriately have very different relations with them, with different types of obligations. Humans and animals are inextricably bound in a complex web of relationships, and Zoopolis offers an original and profoundly affirmative vision of how to ground this complex web of relations on principles of justice and compassion.

...eloquent and extremely thought-provoking.. astonishingly free of sentimentality while still brimming with passion...Books like this - meticulously thought-out, very attractively reasoned, with no hint of screed - do inestimable good in their incremental way, and Zoopolis is among the best I've ever read.

Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Part I: An Expanded Theory of Animal Rights
  3. Universal Basic Rights for Animals
  4. Expanding ART via Citizenship Theory
  5. Part II: Applications
  6. Domesticated Animals within ART
  7. Domesticated Animal Citizens
  8. Wild Animal Sovereignty
  9. Liminal Animal Denizens
  10. Conclusion