Genes Without Borders? Towards Global Genomic Governance
In times of transnational collaboration of scientists and researchers, of genetic tests offered on the internet, and grassroot resistance against the increasing influence of pharmaceutical industries organized and coordinated in global networks, the governance of genetics and genomics is no longer an exclusive realm of national regulation. Due to the increasing complexity of society, it has become impossible to govern society from a single centre or by means of a single privileged governance mechanism. Our project will address the question of what different shapes global genomic governance takes, which actors are involved, and how individuals and populations are governed through genomic science and technologies. Practices and knowledges in the global field of genomics create new infrastructures, foster the emergence of large networks, and alter the identities of people.
 
By focusing on three case studies, we will analyze genomic governance and tackle questions such as: Which common patterns of global genomic governance are discernible? What does this mean for the regulatory agency of nation states in the field of genomics? Which new ethical and democratic challenges arise?
   
Our three case studies are:
•  The International HapMap Project, aiming at determining common patterns of DNA sequence variation in the human genome
   (as a science/technology project)
  •  Pharmacogenetics/genomics and its impact on the clinical practices and treatment of Alzheimer´s disease    
   (as an example of how a disease is being dealt with by means of genomic research and testing)
  •  DNA profiling for criminal investigation; especially recent activities with regard to Interpol´s programme to establish a multinational     DNA databank (as an example for a socio-political problem field being altered by the influx of genomic knowledges and practices).
   
 
Our project will be coordinated by the Department of Political Science and the Life-Science-Governance research platform at the University of Vienna (Coordinators: Barbara Prainsack and Herbert Gottweis; post-doctoral researcher: Ursula Naue). It will involve the following international partners: Nikolas Rose at the London School of Economics (LSE, UK), Richard Hindmarsh at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University (Australia), Jenny Reardon at the the Center for Women´s Studies, the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University (USA), and Jeantine Lunshof at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (NL).
   
  »German version
 
 Updated 2006-03-28