Biolegalities in Globalization: Investigating Ethical In/sensibilities

CFP – Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2017
Biolegalities in Globalization: Investigating Ethical In/sensibilities  

(open panel # 114)

August 30 – September 2, 2017
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Organized by Sonja van Wichelen (University of Sydney – Sociology) and Marc de Leeuw (University of New South Wales – Law)

The life sciences are fundamentally reshaping law and legal practice. This panel engages with contemporary cross-border challenges and implications of new biotechnologies and biological knowledges in the field of law. It is interested in papers that examine the complex and often contested ways in which biotechnologies or biological knowledges are reworked by, with, and against legal knowledge. Reproductive technologies, genetic privacy, GMOs, biobanks, patents and intellectual property, transgenic animals, nanotechnology, neuro-interventions, gene “editing”, xenotransplantation, and diasporic proxies in global biomedicine are increasingly becoming common practice in the 21st century. While the growing scholarship on biopolitics has studied the ways in which such practices are entangled with certain modes of governance and neoliberal economies, their translations, deployments, and reconfigurations in the realm of law or legal practice has been relatively understudied. The panel seeks to explore the in/sensibilities of legal knowledge in responding to challenges actioned by emerging biotechnologies and biological knowledge. The normative is a constitutive element in these responses and the panel explicitly seeks to examine how ethical and normative sensibilities play out in expanding jurisdictions such as in European or international law. We welcome paper proposals that can speak to academic audiences across Law, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities, and are especially interested in empirical cases that look at the larger geopolitical context in which jurisdictions increasingly expand and cross states and nations.

Please submit your abstract through the 4S online system, which you can find here by the 4S deadline March 1, 2017. Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should include a title and keywords. For more information please email Sonja van Wichelen at or Marc de Leeuw

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