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Intellectual Property, Bioeconomy, Multiplicity: An Inquiry into Spatialities of Governance, Power and Subjectivity

Rahaman, Mizanur (2017) Intellectual Property, Bioeconomy, Multiplicity: An Inquiry into Spatialities of Governance, Power and Subjectivity. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:62478)

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This thesis discusses how law, especially intellectual property and biodiversity laws, mediates the operation of the bioeconomy by 'thinking through' the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze/Felix Guattari. As experimental thinkers, Deleuze/Guattari were committed to bring movement in concepts, that is, to experiment with concepts. Hence, the thesis deploys the concept of 'desiring-machine' to explain the operation of the bioeconomy. In this respect, the thesis focuses on the Bt. brinjal controversy in India - a specific instance of bio-economic production. Techno-scientific and legal discourses in the controversy have highlighted the risk and uncertainty surrounding modern bio-technical science and its regulation. A more interesting narrative, however, is the discourse of biopiracy, which claims that a number of global/local entities appropriated local germplasm illegally to produce the Bt. brinjal. And so, the thesis looks at the controversy as an 'event' in which heterogeneous elements, along with law,co-exist, co-function, form alliances and work in symbiosis. Pointing out the connection and relation between the elements, the thesis suggests that the bioeconomy operates in a connective fashion, through machinic conjunctions. Said otherwise, the bioeconomy is a 'machine' - each element functions in conjunction with others. It follows that the Bt. brinjal controversy is an effect of machinic assemblage. And yet, the question is: what establishes machinic conjunctions between the elements? The thesis observes that the bioeconomy is founded on desire because it is desire that connects, couples, assembles, creates chains and produces intensities. In what follows, the elements of the machine relate to each other through the continuous movement of desire. The argument, then, is that the bioeconomy is a 'desiring-machine'. Its operation, however, is mediated by law.In view of this, the thesis sheds light on a number of issues by unfolding the controversy. In particular, the thesis shows how the desire to propertise, to normalise appropriation, to capture, to contest, to produce transformed subjects and more importantly, to expand the spaces of bio-economic production move and flow through disparate legal mechanisms and practices. To be more specific,the thesis highlights how law mediates the movement of desire, which establishes machinic conjunctions between an array of elements located in dispersed spaces, and by doing so, spatialises materiality, normalisation, power and subjectivity. The Bt. brinjal controversy, from this point of view, has 'multiple dimensions'.

Since the aim of this research is to experiment with concepts, the thesis 'thinks through' the concept of 'multiplicity' to construct the dimensions. As a topological concept, the term 'multiplicity' puts emphasis on constructing the 'multiple' by adding elements successively through conjunctions. In this vein, the thesis thinks rhizomatically - a style of thinking that moves in all directions to connect and link dispersed elements, thereby organises and arranges the relations between the 'many' in semiotic chains. As such, the essence underlying the thesis is deeply topological or spatial because it not only connects the 'many' through conjunctions and actualises their relations in extensive series, but also links up and combines one concept with another. Thus, while Deleuze/Guattari's philosophical thinking remains the enduring thread throughout the thesis, a number of other concepts, specifically from Michel Foucault and Georges Canguilhem, are added successively. To this effect, the thesis combines the concept of de/re-territorialisation with the analytics of 'governmentality' and 'normalisation', brings 'desire' in conversation with 'power', and links up 'becoming' with 'subjectivity' to multiply and expand the dimension of the controversy. The composition, then, itself becomes an articulation of the spatialisation of thought. Consequently, the thesis moves beyond the confines of the case discussed and relates the latter to broader issues concerning the operation of the bioeconomy. In fact, the Bt. brinjal controversy becomes a conduit for a theoretical exploration and explanation of how the bioeconomy operates as a desiring-machine; and how law mediates such operation in a global/postcolonial context. More broadly, the thesis engages with spatiality and spatialisation in a serious manner by focusing on how law spatialises materiality, normalisation, power and subjectivity, and to this end, offers a different way of critiquing law and its relation with the bioeconomy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Alessandrini, Donatella
Thesis advisor: Cloatre, Emilie
Uncontrolled keywords: Intellectual Property Law, Bioeconomy, Biodiversity Law, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Deleuze /Guattari, Michel Foucault, Assemblage, Multiplicity, Rhizome, Global Governance, Spatiality of Law, Materiality, Georges Canguilhem, Desiring-Machine, Law and Globalisation, Postcolonial Legal Studies, Subjectivity, Deleuze/Guattarian Cartography, Infrastructure, De-territorialisation, Expansion, Power, Desire, Becoming, CBD, TRIPs, Normalisation, Spatialities of Governance,
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2017 10:10 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 19:56 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Rahaman, Mizanur.

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