Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin Berna

Second Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Third Advisor

Neil Katz


animals, alternative dispute resolution, conflict, political science, politics, public policy, rights, social movement


Social movements are consequences of social conflict. This project examines the conflicting and contentious efforts of animal rights activists at changing public policy and it evaluates the successes and failures of the animal rights movement. Animal rights activists’ challenges concerning animal rights, animal welfare and animal protection, combined with divergences from the special interest consortiums compounded by societal norms will all be addressed here. Furthermore, none of this has been previously addressed in the field of Conflict Resolution. This project highlights the challenges that animal rights advocates encounter when attempting to safeguard animal protective measures. The power struggle between animal welfare and animal rights organizations and efforts by powerful lobbies from consumer groups, industries, factory farms, and research universities in efforts to preserve profits and advance research and medicine will be researched as a conflict between interests and values. This qualitative case study examines conflicting dogma in addition to goals, successes, and failures as defined by animal rights activists concerning animal welfare struggles and animal rights activism. This project also examines the foundations of the opposing efforts for de-regulation by industrial farming, hunting organizations and gun enthusiasts and compares specific, animal welfare effects, both positive and negative, on public policy. This study explores the seemingly intractable differences between powerful special interests and non-governmental agencies involved in animal welfare/rights, The Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.