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A global knowledge economy? Biopolitical strategies in India and the European Union
journal contributionposted on 2011-06-01, 00:00 authored by Hans Lofgren, M Benner
This article critiques the notion of a cross-national convergence of institutional and policy responses to science-based technologies. The continued significance of institutional legacies is demonstrated through a comparative analysis of strategies for the biopharma industry in two radically different settings: India and the European Union (EU). Tensions are evident in both the EU ‘high’ route and the mixed strategy pursued in India. State promotion of biopharma is seen in India as a pathway to economic development, framed by a vision of India as a global power. Here, the ‘low’ route of cost advantages is combined with a ‘global’ rhetoric of innovation, modeled on US experience, and uneven forays into advanced R&D. The pursuit of product innovation was reinforced by India’s adoption of TRIPS-mandated intellectual property rights. In the EU, the aim is an integrated policy and regulatory approach to sustain and legitimize European integration, with the ultimate intent of overtaking the USA.