Biotechnology and Empire: The Global Power of Seeds and Science [chapter]

Sheila Jasanoff
2014 Global Power Shift  
Following the cold war, interest has grown in the possible rise of new forms of imperial rule and in the likely role of science and technology in processes of global governance. In particular, just as the life sciences advanced the interests of bygone empires, so modern biotechnology is likely to support today's transboundary exercises of political, economic, and cultural power. Drawing on analyses of large-scale political and technological systems, this chapter suggests that contemporary
more » ... contemporary biotechnology may be enrolled into empire-making by several different means, including bottom-up resistance, top-down ideological imposition, administrative standardization, and consensual constitutionalism. At present, biotechnology seems more likely to increase the power of metropolitan centers of science and technology than that of people at the periphery. Institutional innovations will be needed to bring global biosciences and biotechnologies under effective democratic control.
doi:10.1007/978-3-642-55007-2_10 fatcat:zeiklgj355endouhdpxdhl3a3e