ITA-Seminar, Clive L. SPASH, 01.03.2011

Some Reflections on Bio-Policy (Prof. Dr. Clive L. SPASH, Institut für Regional- und Umweltwirtschaft, Dept. für Sozioökonomie, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien)

Biological resources are increasingly treated in policy discussions as in need of better policy to make sure they are managed properly. On one side there is a concern for the protection of biodiversity due to loss of ecosystems and species. On the other is the urgency expressed over the need to develop new technologies using primarily the genetic potential of natural entities. In both cases the push of market forces and the drive for simple approaches to economics and society seem to dominate. Orthodox economics via a focus on efficiency then plays a role in promoting and supporting the reduction of complex social problems and decision processes to straight forward cost-benefit calculations. In this type of political economy technological change is promoted as the answer to all problems, the type of technology favours powerful interests (e.g. major multi-national corporations), and the need for and potential of alternatives is ignored. This presentation will explore some of these issues.