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Overcoming Issues of Exploitation in Integrating Indigenous Knowledge with Western Science through Implementation of a Participatory Model

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Exploitation has long been a major issue in the discussion of integrating indigenous knowledge with Western science for drug innovation. However, whilst discussions focus on the negative impact the relationship has on indigenous communities, they have failed to suggest a practical step forward in resolving the conflict. Furthermore, given that drug innovation is declining, there is pressure to find ways of integrating the two knowledge systems. This paper aims to present an option for such reconciliation by presenting a model based on participation. By drawing on the role of participation in both development and innovation discourses, the model identifies a pathway which represents the interests of both indigenous communities and firms involved in drug innovation. India is used as a case study to exemplify ways in which participation has been implemented on various levels in current medical strategies. Not only does India provide an illustration of how participation can work, but it also identifies potential pitfalls in the practical application of this type of model.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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