Biotechnology

Genetically-modified (GM) crops have been planted by farmers across the developing world for over a decade. When GM crops were first released there was a massive debate, with some arguing that they would be a disaster and others acclaiming them as a saviour. IDS research has aimed to take a balanced perspective, exploring what happened on the ground in a number of countries, including India, China, Kenya and Argentina.

The promise that GM crops were going to provide the 'pro-poor' solution to agricultural problems has been challenged, but in some places, for some farmers, with some crops they are offering benefits. IDS research has offered a critical and nuanced perspective often missing from the dominant, polarised debates, exploring in particular the political economy and governance challenges of agricultural biotechnology.

GM Crops and Indigenous Management Skill

This project examines the effects of GM seeds on the ‘indigenous management skill’ (IMS) that is crucial to the productivity and sustainability of small-scale crop cultivation. More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

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Intellectual Property Rights, Biotechnology and Food Security

IDS Working Paper 203 (2003)

This paper examines the relationship between food security, agricultural biotechnology and intellectual property rights (IPRs), particularly for developing countries and poorer groups within those countries. As a result of industry pressure, harmonised standards of IPRs have been agreed at the global level, chiefly through TRIPs/WTO. More details

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Domesticating Global Policy on GMOs: Comparing India and China

IDS Working Paper 206 (2003)

This paper compares the way in which two leading developing countries in the global debate on biotechnology have sought to translate policy commitments contained in international agreements on trade and biosafety into workable national policy. More details

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The Biotech Developmental State? Investigating the Chinese Gene Revolution

IDS Working Paper 207 (2003)

China's experience with agricultural biotechnology has been dramatic. Many new technologies have been developed by public sector research institutes that rival the outputs of the major biotech corporations. More details

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Tracing Policy Connections: The Politics of Knowledge in the Green Revolution and Biotechnology Eras in India

IDS Working Paper 188 (2003)

This paper explores the dynamic interaction of global and more local knowledge about agriculture, food and rural development through a comparison of policy-making during two periods in India - the 'Green Revolution' and 'biotechnology' eras. More details

IDS Working Paper

Contexts for Regulation: GMOs in Zimbabwe

IDS Working Paper 190 (2003)

This paper looks at the regulation of biotechnology in Zimbabwe. It argues that key uncertainties in biosafety debates are context specific; this means that locally-developed, flexible regulatory systems are more appropriate than the standardised, internationally harmonised, solely science-based forms of risk-assessment often advocated for developing countries. More details

Business and Biotechnology: Regulation and the Politics of Influence

IDS Working Paper 192 (2003)

The regulation of biotechnology products at the national and international level inevitably involves private sector companies. Biotechnology firms are, in many ways, the 'street-level bureaucrats' of biotechnology, those expected to enforce and implement government regulations regarding biotechnology products. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A biotech developmental state? The Chinese experience

Democratising Biotechnology: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Briefing Series (2003)

The biotechnology revolution has almost overwhelmingly been a private sector phenomenon. This alarms many who, aside from other concerns, fear the consolidation of the agri-food industry in the hands of a few multinationals. More details

IDS Working Paper

Biotechnology Policy Series 11

IDS Working Paper 201 (2003)

This paper seeks to identify and explain the ways in which different firms affected by and involved in the debate about the role of biotechnology in Indian agriculture have sought to advance their interests. It is argued that the public positions of larger biotech and agro-chemical companies, seed enterprises and newer start-up firms and the associations they belong to relate to differences in their underlying corporate strategies. More details

IDS Working Paper

Biotechnology Policy Series 12

IDS Working Paper 206 (2003)
IDS publications on international development research

Biotechnology Policy Series 23

IDS Working Paper 198 (2003)

This paper considers the challenges entailed in applying the principles and methods of public participation to national and international policy processes. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Power-reversals in biotechnology: experiments in democratisation

Democratising Biotechnology: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Briefing Series, Briefing 13 (2003)
IDS publications on international development research

Biotechnology for Africa?

Democratising Biotechnology: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Briefing Series (2003)
Non-IDS publication

Reconstructing policy narratives: the Green Revolution story

Biotechnology Policy Series 16 (2003)

The Green Revolution today is the stuff of legend. The literature of the green revolution can never be monocultural. The diversity of perspectives from which it has been analyzed is impressive. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Science, Policy and Biotechnology Regulation

Democratising Biotechnology: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Briefing Series (2003)
IDS publications on international development research

Social constructions of Bt Cotton

Biotechnology Policy Series 15 (2003)
IDS publications on international development research

The development of the IPR regime in India with reference to agricultural biotechnology

This paper surveys debates over the evolution of the IPRs regime in India as it relates to agricultural biotechnology. More details