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Title: Knowledge, ownership and life : the relationship between biopiracy and intellectual property rights
Author: Hamilton, Christopher John
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis describes and accounts for the contemporai-y politics that take shape around the emergence of new regimes of intellectual property ~hts (IPRs) seeking patents on life fonns through an analysis of disputes that have been ofbiopiracy. It studies biopiracy as a tenn which serves as a vector to gather to it a cascade. of concerns about the ambivalent. promises that emerge at the intersection of science, nature and IPR, but also at the intersection of , the developed and the developing· worlds. Though an analysis of the historical trajectory of the tenn coupled with a focused look at cases where allegations of biopiracy have been made by activist groups, it analyses the consequences of the concept's deployment, thus clarifying the lines of contes!ation and identifying some of their economic, political, social, cultural, legal and ethical underpinnings. The first component of this thesis builds on sociological work which addresses the nature/culture separation and extends this work to apply it to IPR regimes, thus making theoretical inroads into emerging notions of biocapital, the bioeconomy and biosociality. As such, it contributes to an understanding of the role of IPR and of the nature/culture separation therein. The second part of this thesis analyses the use of the term 'biopiracy' in the, media and demonstrates how the use of the term has been characterized by a clustering around several key cases which were deliberately chosen to exemplify the process of biopiracy. The third area addressed by this thesis deals with the specific implications that the allegation of biopiracy has had. It shows that the allegation of biopiracy has been 'taken up' widely across multiple spectra, which has led towards the generation of a variety of proposed solutions to the challenges it generates, solutions inherently bound to how biopiracy is itself problematized.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available