Governing rice: The politics of experimentation in global agriculture

  • Smith E
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Drawing on approaches in science studies and anthropology, this dissertation is a contemporary history and ethnography of rice experimentation and of agricultural life sciences more broadly. It identifies the politics and policy choices that are integral to the work of science and technology, and that occur through the efforts of non-state actors, using rice as a case study. In these spaces, the exercise of power comprises a form of gover nance that is both more diffuse and more pervasive than the work of governments . Rice technosciences and governance strategies are evolving and shaping one another at multiple sites and scales, from the national to the global. I analyze power flows in global policy-making for science and technology by examining a range of non-state institutions across time periods, from the development of molecular biology in the early to mid-twentieth century through developments in agricultural biotechnology from the 1980s to the present. I argue that the emergence of governance through technoscience can be seen particularly through social and technoscientific representations and through shifting conceptions of the boundary between "public" and "private" domains. This dissertation shows that governance will be troubled from a democratic standpoint if it occurs without explicit awareness of how the production of new scientific knowledge extends the exercise of power into non-transparent and non-reflexive domains of policy-making.

Author-supplied keywords

  • 0326:Cultural anthropology
  • 0585:Science history
  • 0615:Political science
  • Agriculture
  • Biotechnology
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Experimentation
  • Globalization
  • Governance
  • Political science
  • Rice
  • Science history
  • Science studies
  • Social sciences

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  • Elta C Smith

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