biotechnology, commons, genetically modified organism, paradigm, regulation
As society begins to recognize its impact on ecological systems, the belief that modern political institutions can offer a sense of control and certainty, as well as protect the health of its citizens, is increasingly questioned. In an era of uncertainty, faith in science and technology to alleviate industrial impacts on the environment is often embraced by policymakers yet questioned by the public who see the authoritative role of the sciences in the political sphere as contributing to global risk. The development of biotechnology, specifically genetically modified food, places an anthropocentric focus on resolving and/or adapting to environmental degradation, further reflecting an adherence to the dominant social paradigm to address the consequences of modernization. In order to explicate the dualism of human/nature relations inherent in biotechnology, the focus of this research provides an exploration into two competing paradigms of genetically modified organism (GMO) regulatory policy: scientific rationality and social rationality. Through a careful examination of the evolution of GMO regulation in the United States and the European Union, the precarious relationships between science and politics and progress and precaution reveal an actual convergence instead of divergence between these two actors in the international system. Although existing literature proclaims a division between the values and ethics of U.S. and EU environmental policy, the end result of this comparison in GMO regulation illustrates that in both the risk assessment and precautionary approaches, nature is still viewed as an instrument for advancing enclosure of the commons.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Altif, Jessica, "Engineering A New Form Of Enclosure: International Convergence In Gmo Regulation" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4382.