Animal Rights and Environmental Terrorism

Journal of Terrorism Research 4 (2):26-36 (2012)
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Many paradigmatic forms of animal rights and environmental activism have been classed as terrorism both in popular discourse and in law. This paper argues that the labelling of many violent forms of direct action carried out in the name of animal rights or environmentalism as ‘terrorism’ is incorrect. Furthermore, the claim is also made that even those acts which are correctly termed as terrorism are not necessarily wrongful acts. The result of this analysis is to call into question the terms of public debate and the legitimacy of anti-terrorism laws targeting and punishing radical activism.

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Steve Cooke
University of Leicester


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