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Theorizing the Bioeconomy: Biovalue, Biocapital, Bioeconomics or...What?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date05/2013
JournalScience Technology & Human Values
Journal number3
Volume38
Number of pages29
Pages299-327
Early online date11/04/12
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In the policy discourses of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and European Commission (EC), modern biotechnology and the life sciences are represented as an emerging “bioeconomy” in which the latent value underpinning biological materials and products offers the opportunity for sustainable economic growth. This articulation of modern biotechnology and economic development is an emerging scholarly field producing numerous “bio-concepts.” Over the last decade or so, there have been a number of attempts to theorize this relationship between biotechnologies and their capitalization. This article highlights some of the underlying ambiguities in these conceptualizations, especially in the fetishization of everything “bio.” We offer an alternative view of the bioeconomy by rethinking the theoretical importance of several key economic and financial processes.