1st Edition

Human Genes and Neoliberal Governance
A Foucauldian Critique

ISBN 9780415574471
Published January 4, 2010 by Routledge-Cavendish
316 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Original and interdisciplinary, this is the first book to explore the relationship between a neoliberal mode of governance and the so-called genetic revolution.

Looking at the knowledge-power relations in the post-genomic era and addressing the pressing issues of genetic privacy and discrimination in the context of neoliberal governance, this book demonstrates and explains the mechanisms of mutual production between biotechnology and cultural, political, economic and legal frameworks.

In the first part Antoinette Rouvroy explores the social, political and economic conditions and consequences of this new ‘perceptual regime’. In the second she pursues her analysis through a consideration of the impact of ‘geneticization’ on political support of the welfare state and on the operation of private health and life insurances. Genetics and neoliberalism, she argues, are complicit in fostering the belief that social and economic patterns have a fixed nature beyond the reach of democratic deliberation, whilst the characteristics of individuals are unusually plastic, and within the scope of individual choice and responsibility.

This book will be of interest to all students of law, sociology and politics.


Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: The Production of Genetic Knowledge and the Rise of Genetics as New Perceptual Regime  1. The Production of Genetic Knowledge  2. Scientific and Economic Strength of Genetic Reductionism  3. Policy Implications: Discourses of Genetic Enlightenment as New Disciplinary Devices  4. Genetic Conceptualisations of ‘Normality’ and the Idea of Genetic Justice  5. Beyond Genetic Universality and Authenticity, the Lure of the ‘Genetic Underclass’  Part 2: The Socio-Economic Life of Genes - Genetic Risks and Insurance  6. Commonalties and Variations in Regulation of Genetic Information Flows  7. Previews of the Future as Background  8. Economic and Actuarial Perspectives on Genetics and Insurance  9. Practical and Normative Arguments Against ‘Genetic Exceptionalist’ Legislation  10. The Changing Social Role of Private Insurance: ‘Risk’ as a New Representational Regime.  Conclusions.  References

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Antoinette Rouvroy belongs to the growing community of `academic nomads’. The interdisciplinary tone of her work has oriented - and has been oriented by – her fellowships at the Center for Philosophy of Law at the Université catholique de Louvain, at the European University Institute in Florence, at the Science and Technology Studies Unit of the University of York, and at the Faculty of Law of Law of McGill University in Montreal. She is now assistant professor of Law and Language, and research fellow in information technology law at the University of Namur, in Belgium.