Alasdair Cochrane

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Alasdair Cochrane
Alasdair Cochrane at the University of Manchester.JPG
Cochrane in 2013 at the MANCEPT Workshops, University of Manchester
Born 1978 (age 36–37)
Alma mater London School of Economics
Website Homepage, University of Sheffield
Institutions University of Sheffield
Main interests
Animal ethics, political theory, bioethics, human rights, environmental ethics

Alasdair Cochrane (born 1978) is a British political theorist and ethicist based at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory (2010) and Animal Rights without Liberation (2012). In 2011 he became a founding member of the Centre for Animals and Social Justice.[1]


Cochrane received a first-class honours degree in politics in 2000 from the University of Sheffield. He obtained his MSc in political theory, a PGCHE, and in 2007 a PhD from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics (LSE).[2] His PhD thesis was entitled Moral obligations to non-humans.[3]

While still a postgraduate student Cochrane published an article, "Animal Rights and Animal Experiments: An Interest-Based Approach" (2007), in Res Publica, which won the journal's second annual postgraduate essay prize.[4] He continued in subsequent articles to develop an interest-based account of animal rights,[5][6] attracting article-length responses from Robert Garner[7] and John Hadley.[8]

Academic career[edit]

After completing his postgraduate studies Cochrane joined the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the LSE in 2007, first as a fellow, then as a lecturer.[2] His first book, An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory, was published in 2010, and was one of the first to consider non-human animals from the perspective of political theory.[9][10][11][12]

In January 2012 Cochrane joined the University of Sheffield as a lecturer in political theory.[2] His second book, Animal Rights without Liberation, was released that year by Columbia University Press,[13][14] and he continued to publish articles on animal ethics in peer-reviewed journals.[15] In 2013 he edited a special section in the journal Global Policy on "International Animal Protection"; the section included articles by Cochrane, Oscar Horta, Stuart R. Harrop and Steven White.[16] He has also published material on bioethics and environmental ethics.[17][18]

In 2011 Cochrane became a founding member of the Centre for Animals and Social Justice (CASJ).[1] The CASJ is a think tank that aims to bring academics and policy makers together with a view to understanding and furthering the social and political status of non-human animals.[19]

Select bibliography[edit]


  • Cochrane, Alasdair (2010). An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Cochrane, Alasdair (2012). Animal Rights without Liberation. Columbia University Press.



  1. ^ a b "Founding Committee", Centre for Animals and Social Justice.
  2. ^ a b c "Alasdair Cochrane". The University of Sheffield. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Cochrane, Alasdair. Moral obligations to non-humans, LSE Library Services.
  4. ^ Cochrane, Alasdair (2007). "Animal rights and animal experiments: An interest-based approach". Res Publica 13 (3): 293–318. doi:10.1007/s11158-007-9037-8. 
  5. ^ Cochrane, Alasdair (2009). "Ownership and justice for animals". Utilitas 21 (4): 424. doi:10.1017/S0953820809990203. 
  6. ^ Cochrane, Alasdair (2009). "Do animals have an interest in liberty?". Political Studies 57 (3): 660–679. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2008.00742.x. 
  7. ^ Garner, Robert (2011). "In Defence of Animal Sentience: A Critique of Cochrane's Liberty Thesis". Political Studies 59 (1): 175–187. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2010.00848.x. 
  8. ^ Hadley, John. "Liberty and valuing sentient life". Ethics & the Environment 18 (1): 87–103. doi:10.1353/een.2013.0004. 
  9. ^ Garner, Robert (2012). "Towards a theory of justice for animals". Journal of Animal Ethics 2 (1): 98–104. JSTOR 10.5406/janimalethics.2.1.0098. 
  10. ^ Donaldson, Sue; Kymlicka, Will (July 2012). "Do we need a political theory of animal rights?" (conference paper). Minding Animals Conference, Utrecht. 
  11. ^ Cooke, Steve (2012). "Beyond animal rights: Food, Pets and Ethics – By Tony Milligan; An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory – By Alasdair Cochrane". Political Studies Review 10 (1): 94–5. doi:10.1111/j.1478-9302.2011.00250_17.x. 
  12. ^ Seymour, Richard (12 December 2012). "Book Review: An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory, by Alasdair Cochrane". LSE Review of Books. 
  13. ^ Hadley, John (2013). "Book Review: Animal Rights without Liberation by Alasdair Cochrane". Global Policy. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Clifton, Merritt (26 February 2013). "BOOKS: Animal Rights Without Liberation: Applied Ethics and Human Obligations". Animal People. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Cochrane, A. (2012). "From human rights to sentient rights". Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy: 1–0. doi:10.1080/13698230.2012.691235.  edit
  16. ^ "Vol 4, Issue 4, November 2013". Global Policy. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Cochrane, Alasdair (2010). "Undignified bioethics". Bioethics 24 (5): 234–241. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2009.01781.x. PMID 20002071. 
  18. ^ Cochrane, Alasdair (2007). "Environmental Ethics". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "CASJ Strategy", Centre for Animals and Social Justice.

External links[edit]