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Sheila Jasanoff

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She is the author of Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States and other books and the coeditor of Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance (MIT Press, 2004).

Titles by This Editor

Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age
Edited by Sheila Jasanoff

Legal texts have been with us since the dawn of human history. Beginning in 1953, life too became textual. The discovery of the structure of DNA made it possible to represent the basic matter of life with permutations and combinations of four letters of the alphabet, A, T, C, and G. Since then, the biological and legal conceptions of life have been in constant, mutually constitutive interplay--the former focusing on life’s definition, the latter on life’s entitlements. Reframing Rights argues that this period of transformative change in law and the life sciences should be considered “bioconstitutional.”
Reframing Rights explores the evolving relationship of biology, biotechnology, and law through a series of national and cross-national case studies. Sheila Jasanoff maps out the conceptual territory in a substantive editorial introduction, after which the contributors offer “snapshots” of developments at the frontiers of biotechnology and the law. Chapters examine such topics as national cloning and xenotransplant policies; the politics of stem cell research in Britain, Germany, and Italy; DNA profiling and DNA databases in criminal law; clinical trials in India and the United States; the GM crop controversy in Britain; and precautionary policymaking in the European Union. These cases demonstrate changes of constitutional significance in the relations among human bodies, selves, science, and the state.

Local and Global in Environmental Governance

Globalization today is as much a problem for international harmony as it is a necessary condition of living together on our planet. Increasing interconnectedness in ecology, economy, technology, and politics has brought nations and societies into ever closer contact, creating acute demands for cooperation. Earthly Politics argues that in the coming decades global governance will have to accommodate differences, even as it obliterates distance, and will have to respect many aspects of the local while developing institutions that transcend localism.

This book analyzes a variety of approaches to environmental governance approaches that balance the local and the global in order to encourage new, more flexible frameworks of global governance. On the theoretical level, it draws on insights from the field of science and technology studies to enrich our understanding of environmental and development politics. On the pragmatic level, it discusses the design of institutions and processes to address problems of environmental governance that increasingly refuse to remain within national boundaries.

The cases in the book display the crucial relationship between knowledge and power—the links between the ways we understand environmental problems and the ways we manage them—and illustrate the different paths by which knowledge-power formations are arrived at, contested, defended, or set aside. By examining how local and global actors ranging from the World Bank to the Makah tribe in the Pacific Northwest respond to the contradictions of globalization, the authors identify some of the conditions for creating more effective engagement between the global and the local in environmental governance.