The `great divide' between public and private knowledge in capitalism is an unstable frontier at the core of contemporary economic transformations. Based on research in the USA, Europe and Brazil into the cutting edge of biological science and technology, this book presents a novel framework for understanding this historically shifting fault-line.
Over the last quarter of a century, major controversies have accompanied the dramatic developments in biological science and technology. At critical points, leading commercial companies were poised to take ownership over the human genome and much new post-genomic knowledge. The software tools for analysing the deluge of data also appeared, as did expanding new markets for private enterprise. At the same time, huge new public programmes of biological research were accompanied by radical innovation in the institutions and organisation of public knowledge. Would private marketable knowledge dominate over the new public domain or vice versa? Surprisingly, the dynamism and expansion of the public domain, and new forms of differentiation and interdependence between public and private economies of knowledge, now characterise the landscape. This book presents an analytical framework for understanding the shifting `great divide' in capitalist economies of knowledge.
The authors develop a novel economic sociology of innovation, based on the `instituted economic process' approach. By focusing on economies of knowledge, they seek to demonstrate that capitalism is multi-modal at its core, with interdependent growth of market and non-market modes of production, distribution, exchange and use.
Public or Private Economies of Knowledge? will appeal to those with an interest in innovation studies, economic sociology and economic theory.
Mark Harvey, Professor and Director, Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation, Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK and Andrew McMeekin, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, UK
Contents: 1. Making Knowledge Public and Private 2. The Data Explosion: The Emergence of a New Form of Bio-knowledge 3. Tools of the Trade - Trade of the Tools 4. Collaboration and Competition: The Dynamics of a Genome Race 5. Evolving Economies of Knowledge Bibliography Index