Published: June 2021
Author(s): Paul Chaney, Ian Rees Jones, Ralph Fevre

Chaney, P., Rees Jones, I. and Fevre, R. (2021) Exploring the Substantive Representation of Non-humans in UK Parliamentary Business: A Legislative Functions Perspective of Animal Welfare Petitions, 2010-19, Parliamentary Affairs – A Journal of Representative Politics, Oxford University Press/ The Hansard Society, ISSN 0031-2290, EISSN 1460-2482 


This study is concerned with the substantive representation of non-human species in parliamentary business. It applies Leston-Bandeira’s legislative functions perspective (LFP) to a data set of 2500 public petitions on animal welfare, submitted over three terms of the UK parliament. The wider significance of this work lies in: (i) underlining the utility of the LFP to petitions analysis; (ii) showing that, while few directly secure policy change, e-petitions perform valuable legislative functions including campaigning, scrutiny and policy-influencing roles, foremost of which is linkage and fostering citizen engagement in parliamentary business. And (iii) Showing how, over the past decade, public petitions have significantly contributed to the increasing salience of animal welfare in UK politics.

representation, parliament, legislation, animal welfare, petitions, politics, civil society