Globalisation and the Political Economy of Genetic Engineering

Del Weston



This article argues that the development of genetic technologies has to be critically evaluated from a socio-political economy pers pective to establish if, on balance, the benefits of such technologies outweigh their costs and risks. The article illustrates how the current governance of these technologies can be seen as “undemocratic” because corporate interests dominate the directions in which the technologies are going. When aligned with the und erlying socioeconomic power structures globally, these techn ologies create a situation where the development of science and technology fail to be about the common good. The article begins with a brief overview of neo-liberal globalization. It examines key global institutional arrangements including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, international patenting laws and free trade agreements. It is argued that in their convergence with the biosciences, these are antithetical to democracy, instead ent renching the interests of corporations, rich elites and rich countries. Finally, some suggestions for reforming the global political economy are presented.


globalization; genetic; technology; corporations

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: