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The neoliberal underpinnings of the bioeconomy: The ideological discourses and practices of economic competitiveness

Birch, Kean (2006) The neoliberal underpinnings of the bioeconomy: The ideological discourses and practices of economic competitiveness. Genomics, Society and Policy, 2 (3). pp. 1-15. ISSN 1746-5354

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Abstract

When we talk about ideology and new genetics we tend to think of concepts like geneticisation and genetic essentialism, which present genetics and biology in deterministic terms. However, the aim of this article is to consider how a particular economic ideology - neoliberalism - has affected the bioeconomy rather than assuming that it is the inherent qualities of biotechnology that determine market value. In order to do this, the paper focuses on the discourses and practices of economic competitiveness that pervade biotechnology policy-making in the UK, Europe and the USA. Finally it will consider how the manufacture of scarcity - in order to produce the bioeconomy - has led to a problematic focus on a specific innovation paradigm that may prove detrimental to the development and distribution of new biotechnologies.