The War against Animals


Are non-human animals our friends or enemies? In this provocative book, Dinesh Wadiwel argues that our mainstay relationships with billions of animals are essentially hostile. The War against Animals asks us to interrogate this sustained violence across its intersubjective, institutional and epistemic dimensions. Drawing from Foucault, Spivak and Derrida, The War against Animals argues that our sovereign claim of superiority over other animals is founded on nothing else but violence. Through innovative readings of Locke and Marx, Dinesh Wadiwel argues that property in animals represents a bio-political conquest that aims to secure animals as the “spoils of war.” The goal for pro-animal advocacy must be to challenge this violent sovereignty and recognize animal resistance through forms of counter-conduct and truce.
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Biographical Note

Dinesh Joseph Wadiwel, Ph.D. (2005), University of Western Sydney, is a Lecturer in Human Rights and Socio-Legal Studies at The University of Sydney. His research interests include sovereignty and the nature of rights, violence, race and critical animal studies.

Review Quote

In this rich, dense text, Wadiwel (Univ. of Sydney, Australia) frames the degrees of violence and exploitation of animals in industry, food production, and other human-centric exploitations in rigorous theoretical conversations ranging from politics and governance to how life is valued or devalued, and to how humans measure the capacities of animals to enjoy rights and sovereignty. The book could serve as a central text in a course focused on animal ethics/rights...It could also work well as a case-study reading for a theory-based course. --S. M. Weiss, Rochester Institute of Technology, CHOICE, May 2016 Vol. 53 No. 9.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Foreword: Matthew Calarco Introduction: The Live Hang Part One: Biopolitics Chapter 1: Bare Life Chapter 2: Governmentality Part Two: Conquest Chapter 3: Immunity Chapter 4: Property and Commodity Part Three: Private Dominion Chapter 5: Privatisation and Containment Chapter 6: Companionship Part Four: Sovereignty Chapter 7: Capability Chapter 8: The Violence of Stupidity Conclusion: Truce Index


Anyone interested in animal studies and animal rights, and anyone interested in contemporary critical understandings of political sovereignty, biopolitics and war.