The international harmonization of technology-related regulations seeks certain norms across diverse contexts. Harmonization efforts are based primarily on the promulgation of state-centered, command and control forms of regulation, but they are often accompanied by the diffusion of more plural approaches that are de-centered from the state. We contrast the ways in which the ‘proper’ use of transgenic cotton seed technologies are understood in harmonizing regulations with the way this technology is used in practice in regions of Argentina and China. We find divergences that pose challenges for both state-centered and de-centered approaches to harmonization. Whilst state-centered approaches are blind to some critical processes on the ground, de-centered strategies are found wanting in situations where norms remain deeply contested amongst actors situated in very uneven power relations. In both cases, we find that establishing and securing norms that are socially just and environmentally sustainable means attending much more explicitly to the political economies in which technological practices actually take root.

Autores: Patrick van Zwanenberg, Adrian Ely, Adrian Smith, Chen Chuanbo, Ding Shijun, MariaEugenia Fazio, Laura Goldberg.

Versión enviada para su publicación en Regulation and Governance.


Cita: van Zwanenberg, P., Ely, A., Smith, A., Chuanbo, C., Shijun, D., Fazio, M.E., & Goldberg, L. (2011) ‘The Regulation of Agricultural Biotechnology in Argentina and China: Critical Assessment of State-Centered and De-Centered Approaches’. Regulation and Governance, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 166-86

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