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The Politics of Animal Protection: A Research Agenda

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This article seeks to provide a research agenda for the study of animal protection politics. It looks firstly at the animal protection movement's organization and maintenance in the context of Olson's theory of collective action. While existing research suggests that activists tend to be recruited because of the purposive and expressive benefits they offer rather than the material ones emphasized by Olson, these alternative forms of selective incentives can hinder the achievement of the movement's goals. Secondly, the article outlines alternative models of policy-making and shows how they might be operationalized to explain the development of animal welfare policy-making in Britain and the United States. Preliminary observations suggest thatBritain's animal welfare record is more substantial because policy communities have been able to manage and limit change through concessions and cooptation. No such mechanism is available in the American political system where the greater openness and fragmentation often results in severe confrontation and ultimately, stalemate.



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