Professor Alasdair Cochrane

Department of Politics and International Relations

Professor of Political Theory

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+44 114 222 1650

Full contact details

Professor Alasdair Cochrane
Department of Politics and International Relations
Modular Teaching Village
Northumberland Road
S10 1AJ

Alasdair Cochrane received a First Class BA in Politics from the University of Sheffield in 2000. He then went on to complete an MSc in Political Theory, a PGCHE and his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was then Fellow in Human Rights and then Lecturer in Human Rights at the LSE.

Alasdair rejoined the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield as Lecturer in Political Theory in January 2012.

Alasdair Cochrane’s main research interests include: contemporary political theory, rights theory, human rights, environmental ethics, animal ethics and bioethics.

Research interests
  • The Ethics of Imprisonment
  • Cosmopolitan approaches to animal rights.
  • The anthropocentrism of human rights.
  • Global Food Justice (PDF:108KB)

Prizes and fellowships

  • AHRC / BBC New Generation Thinker 2014
  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2014-15 (for work on ‘Beastly Cosmopolitanism’)


Journal articles


  • Cochrane A & Srinivasan K (2021) Animals in social and political theory, Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory (pp. 584-592). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cochrane A (2019) Good work for animals In Blattner CE, Coulter K & Kymlicka W (Ed.), Animal Labour Oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cochrane A (2016) Labour Rights for Animals In Garner R & O'Sullivan S (Ed.), The Political Turn in Animal Ethics Rowman & Littlefield International RIS download Bibtex download
  • cochrane A (2015) Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Specifying the Rights of Animals In Visak T & Garner R (Ed.), The Ethics of Killing Animals (pp. 201-214). Oxford University Press, USA RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cochrane A (2014) Born in Chains? The Ethics of Animal Domestication In Gruen L (Ed.), The Ethics of Captivity (pp. 156-173). Oxford University Press, USA RIS download Bibtex download
  • () The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Alasdair Cochrane is currently supervising, and is interested in supervising, PhD projects on a range of issues in contemporary political theory, including: human rights; non-human rights; environmental political theory; and bioethics.

Teaching activities

The modules that I teach in the Department explore some extremely contentious political issues: minority rights; abortion; humanitarian intervention; animal rights; euthanasia; and many more besides! The wonderful thing about studying political theory, in my view, is that it provides individuals with the tools to tackle such difficult topics directly and confidently. As such, in my teaching practice, my primary aim is to help students to develop the skills necessary to do that. I thus build classes around helping students to expose and critically reflect on their preconceptions. And my ultimate objective is to enable students to construct clear and robust arguments in relation to some of the most important topics in modern political life.

Professor Alasdair Cochrane discusses how and why we establish human rights, and what implication this has for the rights of animals.

Professional activities and memberships

Co-Director of ShARC (Sheffield Animals Studies Research Centre)

Radio broadcasts