Globalization, New Agricultural Technologies and IPRS: Implications of Modern Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering for Capabilities, Exclusion, and Livelihoods in Developing Countries

By Devanathan Parthasarathy


The paper seeks to develop a broad framework for analysing the implications of changes in intellectual property rights regimes deriving from both new international legal mechanisms and conventions, and from new agricultural technologies based on modern biotechnology and genetic engineering. The framework can function as a model for analysis and further research on the impact of these changes on the commons and related issues such as biodiversity, and on indigenous knowledge. These impacts could be in terms of social exclusion, loss of skills and knowledge for specific groups and categories of people resulting in a loss of capabilities and entitlements, and a consequent reduction in livelihood choices and strategies. It is also stated that these technologies have the capacity to perpetuate inequalities among groups within a community and between nations and economies. This occurs through excluding people from access to forms of knowledge, skills, techniques, and markets, which are important for subsistence, survival and for competing in a globalized economy.

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Devanathan Parthasarathy
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Powai, Mumbai – 400076, India

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