Professor Robert Garner


BA (Salford), MA, PhD (Manchester), FRSA, AcSS

Contact Details

Research Interests

The focus of my principal research interest is the political representation of non-human interests, where non-human interests are taken to include those of non-human animals and other non-sentient parts of nature. This is an area of study that fits into the broader subject area of environmental politics.

Themes I have explored are:

  • the documentation of the neglect or dismissal of the concept of animal rights in the liberal tradition of political thought.
  • a defence of animal rights from within the liberal tradition, invoking approaches based on rights, utilitarianism and contractarianism.
  • the difficulties of protecting the interests of animals from within the liberal tradition: focusing on the costs, for liberal societies, of adopting animal rights; the impact of liberal neutrality as regards the good society; and the protection of human autonomy.
  • the relationship between animal protection and other political traditions, including Marxism, feminism, ecology and communitarianism.

Current Research

I have recently finished a project, initially facilitated by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship, on the relationship between theories of justice and the protection of animals. My subsequent book, published by Oxford University Press, seeks to consider the value of considering the treatment of animals within the prism of justice rather than what I take to be the broader arena of ethics and morality. It is also the first work that attempts to apply both ideal and nonideal theory to animal ethics and, in particular, to develop a viable nonideal theory of justice for animals.

PhD Supervision

I am willing to supervise projects on environmental politics, broadly conceived, animal rights, pressure groups and social movements, and political ideologies.

Learn more and apply for research degrees in Politics and International Relations.


I teach political theory and environmental politics.

Most Recent Publications


Book cover A Theory of Justice for Animals, Rob Garner A Theory of Justice for Animals (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Environmental Politics Environmental Politics: The Age of Climate Change (3rd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)

The Animal Rights Debate The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? (Columbia University Press, 2010.

Introduction to Politics Introduction to Politics (co-authored, Oxford University Press, 2009: second edition to be published in the Spring of 2012. A Canadian version of the book is also in preparation).

Animal Ethics Animal Ethics (Polity Press, 2005)

The Political Theory of Animal Rights The Political Theory of Animal Rights (Manchester University Press, 2005)

Animals, Politics and Morality Animals, Politics and Morality (2nd edn, Manchester University Press, 2004)

Book Chapters

  • 'Conserving Wildlife' in M. Smith (ed.), Thinking Through the Environment: A Reader (Routledge, 2000), pp. 166-177

Recent Journal Articles

For a list of full publications

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Contact Details

Department of Politics and International Relations
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2702
Fax : +44 (0)116 252 5082