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Governing genomics in the 21st century: between risk and uncertainty

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The paper reconstructs the governance of genomics by sketching the main features, modes of operation and tactics of the emerging genomics apparatus. Genomic governance in the 20th century is characterized by the simultaneous operation of a process of the stabilization of knowledge regimes, in particular via patenting. Furthermore, we observe a heterogenization and globalization of the actors and knowledge creating systems in genomics governance. A variety of different mechanisms and strategies of governance are mobilized simultaneously. The transition of governing via risk to governance by uncertainty is another important feature of contemporary genomics governance. The implications of these trends for the regulation of genomics are considerable and might lead to the emergence of new patterns and spaces of conflict and controversy. The governance of genomics in the 21st century could become a more complex challenge than currently anticipated by many policy makers and the scientific community.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, Universitaetsstrasse 7, 1014, Vienna, Austria

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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