Criminology and Human-Animal Violence Research: The Contribution and the Challenge

Nik Taylor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Using theories concerning human-animal abuse links this paper assesses the role(s) that criminology can play in understanding human-animal relationships. That this is not a one-way process of knowledge transferral is acknowledged with analysis of the contribution that human-animal studies can offer in return. Following a brief outline of human-animal abuse theses the contributions that criminology can play in furthering understandings of, and informing responses to, this phenomenon are discussed. A critique of mainstream approaches towards human-animal abuse links, namely, their conceptualization of animals as tools, is then outlined. The argument that anthropocentric approaches to the study of interhuman violence actually reinforce the forms of oppression which create and maintain such forms of violence in the first place, is then developed. The author concludes that the incorporation of human-animal relationships into criminology offers something in return, i. e. an opportunity to re-think the modernist foundations upon which (traditional) criminology is built.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-263
    Number of pages13
    JournalCritical Criminology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


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