Presented by Paul Chaney.

This seminar gives an overview of two pieces of research from CS2 WP1.2 ‘New arenas for civic expansion: humans, animals, and Artificial Intelligence’. It seeks to address the overarching question: ‘How and to what extent are Political Parties’ election manifestos – and, public petitions to Westminster – reflecting civil society policy demands on animal welfare’? The first part explores the party politicization of wildlife protection with analysis of manifesto discourse in UK state-wide elections 2001–2019. The second is concerned with the substantive representation of non-human species in parliamentary business. It applies Leston-Bandeira’s Legislative Functions Perspective to a dataset of 2,500 public petitions on animal welfare, submitted over three terms of the UK parliament. Amongst a raft of findings the analysis shows that the symbiosis of humans and non-humans is increasingly integral to UK politics as evidenced by the rise in salience in response to civil society demands.

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