1st Edition

Nature, Risk and Responsibility
Discourses of Biotechnology

Edited By

Patrick O'Mahony

ISBN 9780415922913
Published January 8, 1999 by Routledge
242 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

This book explores ethical interpretations of biotechnology and examines whether sufficient consensus exists or is emerging to enable this technology to occupy a stable role in the techno-economic, social, and cultural order. It employs a wide range of social theories to evaluate risks.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements -- Notes on the Contributors -- Introduction: Biotechnology, Uncertainty and Contestation /Patrick O ’Mahony -- Part I Theoretical Reflections on Biotechnology and Responsibility -- 1 The Civilisation of the Gene: Biotechnological Risk Framed in the Responsibility Discourse /Piet Strydom -- 2 Biopolitics in the Risk Society: the Possibility of a Global Ethic of Societal Responsibility /Gerard Delanty -- 3 Biotechnology as Expertise Barry Barnes -- Part II Constructing Values: Public Communication on Biotechnology -- 4 Shifting Debates on New Reproductive Technology: Implications for Public Discourse in Ireland /Orla McDonnell -- 5 Biotechnological Communication and the Socio-Cultural Embeddedness of Economic Actors /Marion Dreyer -- 6 Constructing Difference: Discourse Coalitions on Biotechnology in the Press /Patrick Oy Mahony and Tracey Skillington -- Part III The Dynamics of Institutionalisation: Juridification and Regulation of Biotechnology -- 7 Public Representation and the Legal Regulation of Assisted Conception in Britain /John Murphy -- 8 Discourse Formations and Constellations of Conflict: Problems of Public Participation in the German Debate on Genetically Altered Plants /Alfons Bora -- 9 Law and the Cultural Construction of Nature: -- Biotechnology and the European Legal Framework /Christian Byk -- 10 Bio-patenting and Innovation: Nomads of the Present and a New Global Order /Ruth McNally and Peter Wheale -- Part IV Concluding Reflections -- 11 Modernity’s Organic Economy of Governmentality /Tracey Skillington -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.

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Patrick O'Mahony is Director of the Centre for European Social Research, University College, Cork. He is co-author of Rethinking Irish History (1998).


"This volume attempts to address a topic of considerable importance to our contemporary world. It raises issues about which sociologists should be informed." -- Lawrence Busch, Contemporary Sociology