IES Research Projects

Governance through Regulatory Complexes: The International and European Management of Genetic Resources

This project aims at advancing research on international and European governance by exploring the evolution and combined effects of regulatory “complexes” in the area of access to and benefit sharing from genetic resources (ABS). Whereas research has traditionally focused on the creation, development and effects of individual international institutions and European legislative instruments, the proliferation of these regulatory frameworks increasingly calls for a more integrated investigation of institutional/regulatory complexes.

Due to the advances of modern biotechnology, Access to and Benefit Sharing from genetic resources (ABS) is a topical and dynamically evolving issue-area that is co-governed by various international institutions and European legislative instruments. ABS covers a broad range of issues and aspects, including domesticated and wild genetic resources (ex situ/in situ) of plants, animals, and micro-organisms. Wild genetic resources are particularly relevant for “white biotechnology” (pharmaceutical and chemical industries). It is therefore co-governed by various international and European regulatory frameworks (among the most important international frameworks regulating ABS are: CBD, WTO-TRIPS, WIPO, FAO, UPOV, Directive 98/44/EC).

Building on previous related research, the project will contribute both conceptually and empirically to this cutting-edge area of research. The research aims at exploring the evolution and combined consequences of regulatory “complexes” governing access to and benefit sharing from genetic resources (ABS). It will thus make a twofold contribution to existing knowledge. First, the project will generate general knowledge about, and further develop the conceptual framework for analysing, the interplay and co-governance of international institutions and European legislative instruments. Second, the project will create systematic and detailed knowledge about the institutional/regulatory complexes that govern ABS.

Promoters: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Oberthür
Researcher: Justyna Pozarowska

Back