A Critical Observation on the Mainstream Discourse of Biotechnology for the Poor

S. Hisano

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Since the late 1990s, when massive backlash against genetically modified organisms emerged worldwide, the mainstream political economic powers, i.e., the US government and transnational biotech companies, have been actively and deliberately engaged in the discourse of biotechnology for the poor to combat world hunger. This line of discourse has been endorsed at several international gatherings as well as in epistemic communities. The objective of this paper is to sort out and critically analyze the discourse put forward by the mainstreamers. Within the hegemonic political, economic, legal, and ideological setting of biotechnology development, we need to look for room for maneuver so that we can carefully make out alternative perspectives and frameworks to reappropriate and redesign biotechnology to fit in the socioeconomic and bioenvironmental context of the resource-poor in the developing world. In order for this analysis to be theoretically reflected, we will refer to Antonio Gramscis concept of hegemony and counter-hegemony, as well as Andrew Feenbergs concept of democratic rationalization
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-106
    JournalTailoring Biotechnologies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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