Human Genes and Neoliberal Governance

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9780415574471: Human Genes and Neoliberal Governance

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.


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About the Author:

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.


"After reading Human Genes and Neoliberal Governance one cannot but be impressed by Rouvroy’s tour de force on the intricacies of genetic sciences discourse. The work of deconstruction on the rhetoric of truth production revolving around genetics that the author sets up is impressive both for the range of the analysis and for the variety of theoretical instruments used in the investigation." - Jacopo Martire, Kings College London, Kings Law Journal, 21.1, 2010

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