DOI: 10.3390/ani14010079 ISSN: 2076-2615

Beyond the Unitary State: Multi-Level Governance, Politics, and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Animal Welfare

Paul Chaney, Ian Rees Jones, Nivedita Narayan
  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology

It is argued that extant cross-cultural research on animal welfare often overlooks or gives insufficient attention to new governance theory, civil society, politics, and the realities of devolved or (quasi-)federal, multi-level governance in the modern state. This paper synthesizes relevant social theory and draws on new empirical findings of civil society accounts of campaigning on animal welfare policies and law in the United Kingdom. It is presented as a corrective to arguably reductive, earlier unitary state-based analyses. Our core, evidence-based argument is that cognizance of civil society activism and the contrasting institutional governance structures and political cultures of constituent nations in unitary states—such as the UK—are providing opportunities for the territorialization of legally grounded animal welfare regimes, and culturally distinctive practices.

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