Academic Staff: Alasdair Cochrane

Picture of Alasdair Cochrane

Dr Alasdair Cochrane, BA (University of Sheffield), PGCHE, MSc, PhD (LSE)

Lecturer in Political Theory

Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1650
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 1717
Room: 2.01

Email: a.cochrane@sheffield.ac.uk
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alasdair_Cochrane

Profile

Alasdair Cochrane received a First Class BA in Politics from the University of Sheffield in 2000. He then went on to complete an MSc in Political Theory, a PGCHE and his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was then Fellow in Human Rights and then Lecturer in Human Rights at the LSE.

Alasdair rejoined the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield as Lecturer in Political Theory in January 2012.

Alasdair Cochrane’s main research interests include: contemporary political theory, rights theory, human rights, environmental ethics, animal ethics and bioethics.

Teaching

The modules that I teach in the Department explore some extremely contentious political issues: minority rights; abortion; humanitarian intervention; animal rights; euthanasia; and many more besides! The wonderful thing about studying political theory, in my view, is that it provides individuals with the tools to tackle such difficult topics directly and confidently. As such, in my teaching practice, my primary aim is to help students to develop the skills necessary to do that. I thus build classes around helping students to expose and critically reflect on their preconceptions. And my ultimate objective is to enable students to construct clear and robust arguments in relation to some of the most important topics in modern political life.

Dr Alasdair Cochrane discusses how and why we establish human rights, and what implication this has for the rights of animals.
More Politics Brought to Life videos

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • “Human Rights for Animals (And Animal Rights for Humans)”, University of Melbourne
  • “Cosmozoopolis: Political Theory and Animal Rights”, Newport Social Ethics Seminars
  • “Zoopolis: Response to Will; Kymlicka and Sue Donaldson”, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
  • “Can there be Justice for Farm Animals?”, Farm Animal Welfare Symposium, Warwick University

Professional activities and recognition

  • Co-founder, CASJ – a think tank for animals and social justice.
  • Scientific Committee, Minding Animals International.
  • Advisor, Vienna Encyclopedia of Animal Welfare

Current Research

  • The Ethics of Imprisonment
  • Cosmopolitan approaches to animal rights.
  • The anthropocentrism of human rights.
  • The use of rights discourse and rights regimes to tackle biodiversity loss.
  • The relationship between human and animal captivity.
  • Prisons and punishment.
  • Global Food Justice

Key Publications

Books

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

Articles

  • "Cosmozoopolis: The Case Against Group-Differentiated Animal Rights", Law, Ethics and Philosophy (forthcoming)
  • “From Human Rights to Sentient Rights”, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, (2013)
  • “Evaluating Bioethical Conceptions of Human Rights”, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, (2012).
  • “Undignified Bioethics”, Bioethics 25 (2010).
  • “Ownership and Justice for Animals”, Utilitas 21 (2009).
  • “Do Animals Have an Interest in Liberty?”, Political Studies 57 (2009).

View Dr Cochrane's full list of publications.

PhD Supervision

Alasdair Cochrane is currently supervising, and is interested in supervising, PhD projects on a range of issues in contemporary political theory, including: human rights; non-human rights; environmental political theory; and bioethics.