Sue Donaldson

Sue Donaldson

Research Associate


Arts and Science

  • BA, Queen’s University
  • B Ed., University of Toronto
  • MA, Carleton University
Specializations / Research Interests

Animals Politics, Animal Ethics, Political Theory, Feminist Philosophy

Personal Website


Sue Donaldson followed an unconventional path as teacher, creator and advocate before finding her ‘forever home’ in philosophy. Her research is situated in the political turn in animal rights theory, and explores the implications of recognizing animals as members of social, cultural – and political -- communities. What would it mean to live with other animals in relationships of mutual respect and flourishing instead of tyranny and exploitation? Sue’s work considers how animals might co-author their relationships with us, as co-citizens in a multispecies demos, denizens of shared liminal spaces, and sovereigns of wilderness territories. This work draws insights from citizenship theory, feminist political theory, disability theory, children's rights theory, democratic theory, ethology, and ecological ethics; as well as practical "experiments in living" such as animal sanctuaries and intentional communities.  She is the co-author (with Will Kymlicka) of Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (Oxford UP 2011), which has been translated into German, French, Turkish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.  She is the author (or co-author) of 4 books, and has written more than 30 academic articles for journals, edited collections, and handbooks. She has also contributed multiple interviews and dozens of essays and columns on animal-related topics for popular media. Sue is co-convenor of the Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics research group at Queen’s. APPLE sponsors animal studies talks, workshops, reading groups, public outreach, public policy development and the ‘Animal Turn’ podcast.

  • In progress: a book on political community and agency in a multispecies world.
  • Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosopher’s Brief (Routledge 2018) Co-authored with 12 other philosophers.
  • Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (Oxford UP 2011). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka. Winner of the 2013 Canadian Philosophical Association book prize.
  • Thread of Deceit (Sumach Press 2004) Short-listed for an Arthur Ellis crime writing award.
  • Foods that Don’t Bite Back (Arsenal Pulp Press/Whitecap Books, 2003)
Selected Journal Articles
  • “Animal Agora: Animal citizens and the democratic challenge”, Social Theory and Practice 46/4 (2020).
  • “Animal Agency in Community: A Political Multispecies Ethnography of VINE Sanctuary”, Politics and Animals 6 (2020). Co-authored with Charlotte Blattner and Ryan Wilcox.
  • “Locating Animals in Political Philosophy”, Philosophy Compass 11/1 (2016). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “A Sustainable Campus: The Sydney Declaration on Interspecies Sustainability”, Animal Studies Journal, Vol. 5/1, (2016). Co-authored with 10 colleagues.
  • “Farmed Animal Sanctuaries: The Heart of the Movement?” Politics & Animals 1 (2015). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Interspecies Politics: Reply to Hinchcliffe and Ladwig”, Journal of Political Philosophy 23/3 (2015). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Animal Rights, Multiculturalism and the Left”, Journal of Social Philosophy 45/1 (2014). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Unruly Beasts: Animal Citizens and the Threat of Tyranny”, Canadian Journal of Political Science 47/1 (2014). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka
  • “Animals and the Frontiers of Citizenship”, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 34/2 (2014). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Reply: Animal Citizenship, Liberal Theory and the Historical Moment”, Dialogue 52/4 (2013). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • Reply to Svärd, Nurse, and Ryland”, Journal of Animal Ethics 3/2 (2013).
  • “A Defense of Animal Citizens and Sovereigns”, Law, Ethics and Philosophy 1/1 (2013). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
Selected Chapters in Books
  •  “Animal Labour in a Post-Work Society”, in C.Blattner, K. Coulter and W. Kymlicka (eds) Animal Labour: A new frontier in interspecies justice? (OUP 2019). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  •  “Metics, Members and Citizens”, in Rainer Bauböck (ed) Democratic Inclusion: Rainer Bauböck in Dialogue (Manchester UP 2018). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Rethinking Membership and Participation in an Inclusive Democracy: Cognitive Disability, Children, Animals” in Barbara Arneil and Nancy Hirschmann (eds) Disability and Political Theory (Cambridge UP 2017). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka
  • “Born Allies: Children and Animals” in Laura Buzzard et. al (eds) The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose, 3rd Canadian Edition (Broadview Press 2017). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Between Wild and Domesticated”, in Bernice Bovenkerk and Jozef Keulartz (eds) Animal Ethics in the Age of Humans: Blurring boundaries in human-animal relationships (Springer 2016). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Make it So: Envisaging a Zoopolitical Revolution” in Paola Cavalieri (ed) Philosophy and the Politics of Animal Liberation (Palgrave Macmillan 2016). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Animal Rights and Aboriginal Rights”, in Vaughan Black, Peter Sankoff and Katie Sykes (eds), Perspectives on Animals and the Law in Canada (Irwin Law, 2015). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “From Polis to Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights” in Karen Wendling (ed) Ethics in Canada: Ethical, Social and Political Perspectives (OUP 2015). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
Encyclopedia & Handbook Entries
  • “Refuge d’animaux”, in Renan Larue (ed.) La pensée végane (PUF 2020).
  • “Rights”, in Lori Gruen (ed) Critical Terms in Animal Studies (University of Chicago Press 2018). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Children and Animals” in Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Childhood and Children (Routledge 2018). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Inclusive Citizenship beyond the Capacity Contract” in Ayelet Shachar et al. (eds) Oxford Handbook of Citizenship (OUP 2017). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.
  • “Animals in Political Theory” in Linda Kalof (ed) The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies (OUP 2017). Co-authored with Will Kymlicka.