Advanced compassion (RSS3.03)
Advanced compassion (RSS3.03)

Advancing Compassion: Exploring Animal Rights in Multispecies Societies (RSS3.03) - Sold Out

This hands-on, interdisciplinary, one week summer course will teach you everything you need to academically explore the possibilities of animal rights. Backed by legal, philosophical and political theory, you are encouraged to engage in a creative endeavor, culminating in a thought-provoking final presentation on a topic of your interest that contributes towards shaping tomorrow's multispecies society.



    Unfortunately this course is sold out, applying is no longer possible 

    Should animals have rights, acknowledging their unique capacities and dignity in society? If so, how can we bring about the transformative societal change which would be required to realize this? This interdisciplinary summer course provides lectures and workshops from many different fields, including legal theory, political science, arts-based methods, philosophy, and more. 


    Starting date

    01 July 2024, 9 am
    Educational method
    Main Language
    01 July 2024, 9 am - 05 July 2024, 5 pm
    Unique code


    Type of education
    Entry requirements
    Open to all
    Study load (ECTS)
    Radboud Summer School

    Startdate: 1 July 2024 - 5 July 2024
    ECTS credits: 2 ECTS. For more information see credits and certificate.

    The course enables you and other ambitious students to think creatively and co-create a society in which animal rights have a (prominent) place. The course aims to stimulate your creative thinking, and provides you with the knowledge and tools to imagine how to bring about profound societal change, whether for animals or other topics of injustice. During this engaging course, we will cover the history, philosophical background, and legal aspects of animal rights, as well as transitions theory and transformative governance approaches. You will go on several fieldtrips close to Nijmegen to help you think about how things can change in practice, beyond the classroom. You will also enjoy workshops on activism and creative methods. You will get to choose a topic of your interest to focus on for a final presentation, which is encouraged to be creative and thought-provoking. Examples of topic that you could choose include:

    • Animal testing
    • Farmed animals
    • Wild animal welfare
    • Animal dignity
    • Animals in zoos/circuses
    • Working animals
    • Companion animals
    • Animals in armed conflict
    • Animal rights and religion
    • Sports animals
    • Genetically modified animals

    However, it is also possible to suggest a topic of your own. After completion of this course, you will understand what animal rights are, why they are necessary, and how this can be achieved. Furthermore, you will learn about innovative research and transformative change approaches, how you can communicate with and about animals, gain hands-on experience through excursions, and how you, as a researcher, can contribute to change in this and other fields (such as climate and social justice movements). Finally, you will be able to explain the difference between welfarism and abolitionism, critically analyze different approaches to the legal status of animals, and evaluate arguments in favor, and against, moral, legal, and fundamental rights of animals

    Course programme by day

    Watch what our participants say about their experience!

    • Weekly schedule and social events

      The weekly programme of Radboud Summer School is carefully designed for the best experience. On this page you will find the timetables and social events.

    Sophia de Vries

    mr. drs. A.S. de Vries (Sophia)

    Sophia de Vries is a lawyer and philosopher with a broad interest in law and justice. With a background in military law (UU, UvA) and philosophy (UvA, University of Antwerp), she now works as a lecturer and PhD candidate at Radboud University's Faculty of Law.

    In her research, De Vries focuses on the question of how we can best protect nature. What do we actually mean by nature? Why does it need protection? And what should it look like? She views this question from the perspective of three major developments in the law that currently seem to have nature protection as their goal. These are the criminalization of ecocide, the granting of rights to nature, and the recognition of the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. De Vries examines whether the three (radically) different approaches can coexist, reinforce each other, or counteract each other in their attempt to protect nature. In doing so, she attempts to provide a new conceptual framework that can serve as a basis for future policy and research.

    Cebuan Bliss

    C.O. Bliss (Cebuan)

    Cebuan is a PhD candidate with the Environmental Governance and Politics Group at the department of Geography, Planning and Environment. Her research seeks to explain the relationship and effectiveness of animal and biodiversity governance systems, assessing synergies and trade-offs using an Integrative Governance framework.

    In particular, she is researching topics in conservation where there are conflicts between protecting individual animal health, welfare and rights on the one hand, and species, on the other. These conflicts are particularly pertinent in certain practices associated with biodiversity conservation: 'Invasive Alien' Species management, non-subsistence hunting, and rewilding. She analyses relationships between governance systems at all levels of governance, from the global to the local. At the national level, she currently focuses on the Netherlands, the UK, Kenya and South Africa.

    Cebuan's research asks what transformative change for protecting biodiversity looks like, taking into consideration the normative debates between animal and environmental ethics.

    She is a member of the Global Research Network animals and biodiversity think tank. In addition, she is part of the Earth System Governance (ESG) taskforce on biodiversity and is a coordinator of the ESG Early Career Researchers Committee.

    Cebuan received her master's degree in Global Environmental Governance from Vrije University, Amsterdam. She studied for her BA in Politics at Durham University in the UK.

    Unfortunately this course is sold out, applying is no longer possible 



    • Regular: €480 (application deadline 15th of May)

    Includes: your course, coffee and tea during breaks, a warm lunch every day, Official Opening, Official Closing (with some drinks and snacks). 

    Excludes: transport, accommodation, social events and other costs.  

    Discounts and Scholarships


    Level of participant: 

    • Advanced bachelor
    • Master
    • PhD
    • Postdoc

    Admission requirements: You should be open towards the uniquely creative approach. You must be eager to learn more about animal rights and must be willing to engage actively in class discussions and creative processes. 

    Admission documents: Motivation letter

    Cannot join us this year?

    We can keep you informed about the 2025 course program! Do you want to broaden your knowledge in 2025 over courses about sustainability, law, research methods & skills, data science and more. Get an email when the new proposal is ready. Because you have a part to play!

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