Project dates: 2006-2011
This project compared the regulation of two technologies – transgenic cotton seeds and antibiotics – with the way those technologies are experienced amongst poorer communities in rural Argentina and rural China.
Through case studies in both countries, we have explored the implementation challenges facing regulators. We investigated the kinds of inclusive regulatory designs that can incorporate issues relevant to poorer communities. The project aimed to understand how to improve regulatory capacity, and identify fruitful ways of rethinking regulation.
This research addressed the gap between current assumptions about regulation – based often on the norms of OECD countries – and the more complex realities in diverse, dynamic contexts.
Global vs local
Today, in a context of economic globalisation, new pharmaceutical and agricultural technologies are often supplied through trans-national as well as national research and development chains. Yet global, harmonised regulations and regimes often do not map neatly onto diverse localities in rapidly changing economies, giving rise to many unintended consequences.
Book: Regulating Technology
Regulating Technology: International Harmonization and Local Realities
Patrick van Zwanenberg, Adrian Ely and Adrian Smith (Earthscan 2011)
Part of the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability series
Examining the regulation of technologies, this book explores how the drive to harmonize regulatory policies across the world is at odds with the increasingly diverse local settings in which they are implemented. The authors use a ‘framings’ approach that starts with the concerns and experiences of technology users and works ‘upwards’ in order to examine how best to improve regulation.
The book centres around two in-depth case study topics: regulation of transgenic cotton seed and regulation of antibiotics, compared across situations in China and Argentina.
Rethinking Regulation: International Harmonisation and Local Realities
by Patrick van Zwanenberg, Adrian Ely and Adrian Smith
STEPS Working Paper 12
STEPS members working on this project:
- Adrian Smith – Convenor
- Gerry Bloom – Research Fellow
- Adrian Ely – Research Fellow
- Patrick Van Zwanenberg – Research Fellow
STEPS partners on this project:
- Zhonghan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China
Shijun Ding [email protected]
- Institute of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China Chenggang Jin [email protected]
- Chen Chuanbo, Renmin University of China
- Centro de Investigaciones para la Transformación ( CENIT), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Andres Lopez [email protected]
Laura Goldberg [email protected]
Maria Eugenia Fazio [email protected]
Roberto Bisang [email protected]
- Regulatory harmonisation and diverse local realities: Contending framings and transnational risks around agricultural biotechnology – Patrick Zwanenberg, September 2009
- Video: Gerry Bloom, STEPS health convenor, talk about the health challenges facing people in rural China
- 20-23 August 2008: Adrian Smith, Adrian Ely and Patrick Van Zwanenberg – ‘Rethinking Regulation: Addressing Diverse User Realities in the Governance of Risky Technologies’, paper presented at the 4S-EASST Conference, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
- 16-19 October 2008: Adrian Smith – ‘Rethinking Regulation: Harmonising Tendencies, Globalising Complexities, and the Challenges of Instituting Priorities for Poorer Communities’ 7th International Science Conference of the International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Delhi.
- Adrian Ely blogs on rethinking regulation from China
- Adrian Smith blogs from Resilience 2008, and more
- Adrian Smith blogs on politics and governance in sustainable socio-technical transitions