Sustainable capital? The neoliberalization of nature and knowledge in the European 'knowledge-based bio-economy'

Kean Birch, Les Levidow, Theo Papaioannou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    88 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    As an EU policy agenda, the knowledge-based bio-economy (KBBE) emphasizes bio-technoscience as the means to reconcile environmental and economic sustainability. This frames the sustainability problem as an inefficiency to be overcome through a techno-knowledge fix. Here ecological sustainability means a benign eco-efficient productivity using resources which are renewable, reproducible and therefore sustainable. The KBBE narrative has been elaborated by European Technology Platforms in the agri-food-forestry-biofuels sectors, whose proposals shape research priorities. These inform policy agendas for the neoliberalization of both nature and knowledge, especially through intellectual property. In these ways, the KBBE can be understood as a new political-economic strategy for sustainable capital. This strategy invests great expectations for unlocking the productive potential of natural resources through a techno-knowledge fix. Although eco-efficiency is sometimes equated with biological productivity, commercial success will be dependent upon new combinations of ―living‖ and ―dead‖ labour.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages2898-2918
    Number of pages20
    JournalSustainability
    Volume2
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Fingerprint

    Sustainable development
    sustainability
    economy
    Productivity
    productivity
    knowledge
    Economics
    EU policy
    biofuel
    Intellectual property
    Forestry
    Natural resources
    intellectual property
    Biofuels
    economics
    forestry
    natural resources
    natural resource
    labor
    Personnel

    Keywords

    • knowledge-based bio-economy
    • european technology platforms
    • innovation narratives
    • techno-knowledge fix
    • neoliberal nature
    • sustainable capital

    Cite this

    Birch, Kean ; Levidow, Les ; Papaioannou, Theo. / Sustainable capital? The neoliberalization of nature and knowledge in the European 'knowledge-based bio-economy'. In: Sustainability. 2010 ; Vol. 2, No. 9. pp. 2898-2918.
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    Sustainable capital? The neoliberalization of nature and knowledge in the European 'knowledge-based bio-economy'. / Birch, Kean; Levidow, Les; Papaioannou, Theo.

    In: Sustainability, Vol. 2, No. 9, 2010, p. 2898-2918.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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