1st Edition

The Global Governance of Genetic Resources Institutional Change and Structural Constraints

By Florian Rabitz Copyright 2017
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    Multi-institutional governance architectures are increasingly common in world politics, yet how do they evolve over time? This book develops a fresh conceptual approach by distinguishing two main types of institutional change and by proposing the strategic context within which governments make decisions regarding international cooperation as the main driving factor. Applying this theoretical framework to the case of genetic resources, it shows how the scope for change has persistently been circumscribed by asymmetries in the global biotechnology sector. Taking a broad view of the underlying technological, legal and economic factors, the book analyzes the formation of international regimes linking access to genetic resources to the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their utilization. Covering negotiations in the areas of seeds, intellectual property rights, pandemic influenza viruses and marine genetic resources, the author shows how governments have persistently faced the problem of ensuring cooperation among actors with widely differing interests. This led them to opt for a strategy of institutional layering, whereby new international instruments are gradually built upon pre-existing ones. In addition to giving a comprehensive overview of the international governance of Access and Benefit-sharing within the wider context of modern biotechnology, the argument developed here enables a new perspective for studying institutional change in multi-institutional governance architectures.

    1. Introduction

    2. Global governance architectures and institutional change

    3. International political economy of biotechnology and genetic resources

    4. Genetic resources and property rights

    5. ABS and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture

    6. ABS and compliance

    7. ABS and viral genetic resources

    8. ABS and marine genetic resources

    9. Conclusion


    Florian Rabitz is a postdoctoral researcher at Kaunas University of Technology. He has previously taught at the University of São Paulo and holds a PhD in political science from the Free University of Brussels. His research focuses on international institutions and institutional change in global environmental governance. Previous work has appeared in outlets such as Futures, the Journal of International Relations and Development, Third World Quarterly and the Journal of European Public Policy.

    "In The Global Governance of Genetic Resources Florian Rabitz deals with utterly pressing issues in international politics today, while making a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on institutional complexity and institutional change. The book intelligently engages with contemporary problems of our time; it promises a lasting impact on our ability to understand why and how international institutions evolve." -Prof. Dr. Cristiane Lucena, Institute for International Relations, University of Sao Paulo

    "Academic interest in various forms of institutional change that are provoked by overlapping international institutions has increased sharply in recent years. Academic journals have been accommodating a vibrant debate among IR scholars. Florian Rabitz enriches this debate by having written one of the first books that tackles this important phenomenon. Rabitz develops a novel and compelling theoretical account of different forms of institutional change unfolding within regime complexes, which he applies carefully to the global governance of genetic resources. This book is not to be missed by those interested in the implications of institutional complexity on global governance from a theoretical angle, much less by the ones keen to know more about the global governance of genetic resources from an empirical point of view." -Dr. Benjamin Faude, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Research Unit "Global Governance"

    "Crossing disciplinary boundaries, Florian Rabitz explores how and why international institutions governing genetic resources evolve. He convincingly argues that patterns of interests and interdependence among states explains changes at the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Trade Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization, and other institutions governing genetic resources. Combining theoretical rigor and empirical insight, Global Governance of Genetic Resources offers a dynamical representation of international negotiations. This book will be of interest to political scientists, legal scholars, economists, and professionals working on global governance." -Prof. Dr. Jean-Frédéric Morin, Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy, University of Laval