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To harmonise or not to harmonise? The case of cross-national biotechnology governance in Southern Africa

Mugwagwa, Julius (2011). To harmonise or not to harmonise? The case of cross-national biotechnology governance in Southern Africa. International Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, 6(3) pp. 31–47.

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Abstract

This paper is based on a study which investigated both existing and new regulatory responses to food emergencies and bigger challenges presented by modern gene-based biotechnologies. In particular, this paper looks at the challenge of cross-national cooperation in regulation of these technologies in southern Africa. One response to this challenge which has dominated policy agendas in the region for a long time, and with more prominence after the 2002-2003 food emergency, is that of harmonisation of national biosafety regulatory systems. Harmonisation is touted by its promoters as one way in which countries can buttress weaker national and sub-national regulatory capacities, and develop synergies that will place them in a strong position to deal with the dynamic challenges presented by modern biotechnologies. The desire for cross-national cooperation in biotechnology management was investigated from the broader perspective of policy convergence, with harmonization being but one of the mechanisms towards the policy convergence. A number of factors facilitating or inhibiting policy convergence were identified, including but not limited to cultural, institutional, socio-economic and policy community attributes. The paper concludes that an understanding of these factors is crucial if grounded empirical and theoretical proposals on cross-national policy convergence are to be advanced.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Facultad de Economía y Negocios
ISSN: 0718-2724
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetThe Open University
Innogen CentreNot SetESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Not SetNot SetLeverhulme Trust
Keywords: African Union; SADC; NEPAD; biotechnology; biosafety; harmonisation; policy convergence
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Development
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Institute for Innovation Generation in the Life Sciences (Innogen)
Item ID: 29781
Depositing User: Julius Mugwagwa
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 15:23
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2020 11:23
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/29781
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