1st Edition

Law, Practice and Politics of Forensic DNA Profiling Forensic Genetics and their Technolegal Worlds

Edited By Victor Toom, Matthias Wienroth, Amade M’charek Copyright 2023
    272 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection reviews developments in DNA profiling across jurisdictions with a focus on scientific and technological developments as well as their political, ethical, and socio-legal aspects. Written by leading scholars in the fields of social studies of forensic science, science and technology studies and socio-legal studies, the book provides state-of-the-art analyses of forensic DNA practices in a diverse range of jurisdictions, new and emerging forensic genetics technologies and issues of legitimacy.

    The work articulates the various forms of technolegal politics involved in the everyday, standardised and emerging practices of forensic genetics and engages with the most recent scholarly and policy literature. In analyses of empirical cases, and by taking into account the most recent technolegal developments, the book explores what it means to live in a world that is increasingly governed through anticipatory crime control and its related risk management and bio-surveillance mechanisms, which intervene with and produce political and legal subjectivities through human bodies in their DNA.

    This volume is an invaluable resource for those working in the areas of social studies of forensic science, science and technology studies, socio-legal studies, sociology, anthropology, ethics, law, politics and international relations.



    Notes on contributors


    1 Forensic genetics and their technolegal worlds: The law, practices and politics of forensic DNA profiling: Introduction

    Victor Toom, Matthias Wienroth and Amade M’charek

    Part I DNA profiling and database governance

    2 Technolegal worlds in an armed conflict: The forensic making of victims in Colombia

    María Fernanda Olarte-Sierra and Jaime Enrique Castro Bermúdez

    3 Travelling promises: Forensic DNA databases in Brazil’s technolegal setting

    Vitor Richter and Luiza Louzada

    4 Forensic DNA analysis and database governance in Ghana

    Aaron Opoku Amankwaa and Judith Amankwa Addo

    5 Legislating forensic genetics in South Africa: Science, justice and the occlusion of race in postapartheid DNA databasing

    Noah Tamarkin

    Part II New and emerging innovations and applications

    6 From promise to practice: Anticipatory work and the adoption of massive parallel sequencing in forensics

    Roos Hopman, Irene van Oorschot and Amade M’charek

    7 Deliberating forensic genetics innovations: The case of rapid DNA technologies in England and Wales

    Dana Wilson-Kovacs

    8 Emerging forensic genetic technologies: Contested anticipations of legitimation, caution and social situatedness

    Christopher James Lawless

    Part III Issues of legitimacy

    9 Systemic (mis)trust in technolegal worlds: Three key trust relationships in forensic genetics

    Matthias Wienroth

    10 Why is DNA not enough? The multiple temporalities of family reunification in Finland

    Anna-Maria Tapaninen and Ilpo Helén

    11 Evaluating forensic DNA databases

    Carole McCartney and Aaron Amankwaa

    12 The stakes of forensic phenotypic profiling: Can solidarity help?

    Barbara Prainsack and Gabrielle Samuel

    13 Conceptions of consent, family and jurisdiction in forensic genetic genealogical searches

    Erin Murphy


    14 Technolegal policies and practices: Studying the past, present and future of forensic genetics

    David Skinner


    Dr Victor Toom is scientific staff at the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, The Hague, the Netherlands.

    Dr Matthias Wienroth, Centre for Crime and Policing, Department of Social Sciences, University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

    Amade M’charek is Professor of Anthropology of Science at the Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.