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Lost in Transnationalism? GMOs in India and the Eclipse of Equitable Development Discourse

Richard Bownas

Journal of South Asian Development, 2016, vol. 11, issue 1, 67-87

Abstract: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been at the centre of passionate debates in recent years, about their safety, their political economic impact and arguably as a litmus test for broader discourses about development. In India, this debate, focusing on Bt cotton, and more recently on Bt eggplant (brinjal), has been particularly vociferous. This article adds context to the debate by showing how rival perspectives on the role of GMOs in economic development have found differing channels of influence and support, many of them transnational in nature. Drawing on interviews with participants in India, from all sides of the argument—non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research, private and governmental sectors—this article argues that a ‘third’ perspective on the introduction of GMOs, that of ‘equitable development’, has been eclipsed by the transnational resources and media presence of both ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ stances. This article therefore aims to link the study of transnational advocacy with the political economy of development, a link which has not been apparent in much recent literature on advocacy networks.

Keywords: GMOs; agricultural development; transnational advocacy networks; India; agrarian movements (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:sae:soudev:v:11:y:2016:i:1:p:67-87