Calculating life: Nation, Nature, and the Nativisation of Nonhuman Genetics

Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirjaMonografia


In recent decades, nation-states have become major stakeholders in nonhuman genetic resource networks as a result of several international treaties. The most important of these is the juridically binding international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 by some 150 nations. This convention was a watershed for the identification of global rights related to genetic resources in recognising the sovereign power of signatory nations over their natural resources. The contracting parties are legally obliged to identify their native genetic material and to take legislative, administrative, and/or policy measures to foster research on genetic resources. In this process of global bioprospecting in the name of biodiversity conservation, the world's nonhuman genetic material is to be indexed according to nation and nationality. This globally legitimated process of native genetic identification inscribes national identity into nature and flesh. As a consequence, this new form of potential national biowealth forms also what could be called novel nonhuman genetic nationhoods. These national corporealities are produced in tactical and strategic encounters of the political and the scientific, in new spaces crafted through technical and institutional innovation, and between the national reconfiguration of the natural and cultural as framed by international political agreements. This work follows the creation of ‘national genetic resources’ in one of the biodiversity-poor countries of the North, Finland. The thesis is an ethnographic work addressing the calculation of life: practices of identifying, evaluating, and collecting nonhuman life in national genetic programmes. The core of the thesis is about observations made within the Finnish Genetic Resources Programmes in 2004–2008, gathered via multi-sited ethnography and related methods derived from the anthropology of science. The thesis explores the problematic relations of the communal forms of human and nonhuman life in an increasingly technoscientific contemporaneity – the co-production and coexistence of human and nonhuman life in biopolitical formations called nations.
Painoksen ISBN978-952-10-6142-4
TilaJulkaistu - 2010
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Tohtorinväitöskirja (monografia)


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