The 'Political Economy' of Agricultural Biotechnology for the Developing World

At the beginning of the new millennium, the 150-year-old conceptual skeleton of 'political economy' is rattling loudly in the closet. Early in his work Marx (1859) argued that there is a close and circular relationship between the social conditions of a nation and its conditions of production, the latter determining its level of economic development. In this context institutional structures and social values, as well as ways of thinking and attitudes of members of civil society, are very important. In the current discussion of agricultural biotechnology for developing countries this part of Marxian analysis is highly relevant, particularly for urban impoverished groups as well as resource-poor farmers and their families. This paper looks at the impact current politicized discussion in Europe is having on public research for the developing world and proposes a way of building a bridge over the troubled waters currently dividing proponents and opponents of agricultural biotechnology.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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