CALL FOR PROPOSALS: ANIMALS IN THE CITY

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: ANIMALS IN THE CITY
Symposium, Journal of Urban Affairs
Laura A. Reese, Editor
Global Urban Studies Program
Michigan State University

Public policies and other issues related to animals in the city have not been well explored; yet, issues of animal welfare have long been tied to municipal politics.  Historically, regulations designed to protect the urban populace and property from animals have existed as long as humans and animals have lived in close proximity in cities and, in the US, have been determined to be legitimate exercises of police powers on the parts of state and local governments.  Surveys have indicated that mayors ranked animal-related issues as the most common complaint to their offices.  The issue of companion animals in the city illustrates the complexity of conflicting public effort to cope with pets as objects of affection, economic value, respect, or abuse.  However, contemporary cities also include non-companion animals such live-stock and chickens as part of urban farming, wild animals whose shrinking habitats have caused them to part of the urban environment, stray and feral animals as the result of economic distress, and hybrids such as “coydogs” resulting from interactions between companion animals and wild animals.

This symposium will include papers that focus on the environmental, health, safety, ethical, and cultural implications of animals in the city and the human-animals interactions that result.  Global comparisons would be particularly welcome.  While certainly not exhaustive some potential topics are listed below:

  • What are the sources of stray and feral dogs and cats in urban areas? How can those sources be managed (etiology-human behavior change, economic conditions) through policy instead of managing the symptoms?
  • What are the health and regulatory implications of urban animal husbandry in dense urban areas?
  • How do urban animal issues intersect with cultural and sociological views and practices? Does such interaction help or hinder the development and implementation of animal welfare policy?
  • What are the potential health implications of the connections between urban environmental degradation (standing polluted water, lead paint and asbestos in buildings) and the health of animals and humans in cities?
  • What are the relationships between the human/animal bond, human and animal abuse, and other forms of criminality such as dog fighting? Is stray dog aggression a sentinel of a violent human community? How are different forms of animal cruelty in urban areas connected to other interpersonal problems?
  • What do model urban animal welfare ordinances look like and where have they been applied?
  • What types of models are there for cooperative service production related to animal welfare and animal control between NGOs and the public sector? How can awareness and engagement of community and stakeholders be raised?
  • What are the interactions between roaming companion animals and other urban wildlife?

Authors are encouraged to submit article proposals to Laura A. Reese (reesela@msu.edu.) by December 1, 2017.  These will be reviewed and specific papers selected by December 31, 2017.  The final articles will be due by June 30, 2018.  Please send proposals along with contact information and a curriculum vita via email to:

Laura A. Reese, Director, Global Urban Studies Program, Michigan State University, reesela@msu.edu.

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