The Brave New Worlds of Agricultural Technoscience

David Goodman

in Engineering Trouble

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520237612
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937499 | DOI:
The Brave New Worlds of Agricultural Technoscience

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This chapter presents some reflections on the main theoretical approaches to agricultural biotechnologies (ABTs) in agro-food studies, and a discussion of critical engagement with the “new” biopolitics of agriculture and food. It explores several subthemes that elaborate the “vectors of incorporation” of ABTs by private capitals. A schematic survey of this literature is also addressed. Next, the recent developments in agro-technoscience are reviewed. The chapter then highlights the several lacunae in the literature and considers future directions of research on ABTs. The earlier literature on ABTs reveals some strong continuities with contemporary scholarship, in terms of both theoretical perspective and more specific concerns, such as genetic erosion, decline of farmer autonomy, and centralized control of agro-food networks on a global scale. The scale and intensity of social mobilization have grown sharply with the accelerating deployment of ABTs.

Keywords: agricultural biotechnologies; agro-food studies; biopolitics; agriculture; agro-technoscience; social mobilization; genetic erosion; farmer autonomy

Chapter.  8110 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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