Crossing places in bioethics regulation: Kenya and beyond

Langlois, Adele (2007) Crossing places in bioethics regulation: Kenya and beyond. In: Crossing places: new research in African studies. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, pp. 114-127. ISBN 1847180965

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Abstract

This chapter examines the regulation of bioethics in Kenya. Empirically based, it draws on documentary evidence and interviews conducted in-country in 2005. These data were gathered as part of a larger doctoral project on international relations in the governance of human genomic and biomedical research and in particular the part developing countries play in this. Given that much of contemporary international relations theory concerns the roles of both state and non-state actors in global governance mechanisms, the fieldwork covered a broad cross-section of society: government policy-makers, members of intergovernmental organisations, scientists, ethicists and civil society representatives. The chapter explores metaphorical crossing places, or the lack of them, between these actors in the negotiation and implementation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBHR) and new national ethical guidelines. It does this through the lens of cosmopolitan democracy, a branch of international relations theory that also constitutes a normative project. It concludes that because international standards applied at the national level have been adapted relative to local contexts, the main tenets of cosmopolitan democracy have been only partly fulfilled by the Kenyan bioethical system. This conforms to the expectation that the project will be achieved gradually rather than in one big step.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:This chapter examines the regulation of bioethics in Kenya. Empirically based, it draws on documentary evidence and interviews conducted in-country in 2005. These data were gathered as part of a larger doctoral project on international relations in the governance of human genomic and biomedical research and in particular the part developing countries play in this. Given that much of contemporary international relations theory concerns the roles of both state and non-state actors in global governance mechanisms, the fieldwork covered a broad cross-section of society: government policy-makers, members of intergovernmental organisations, scientists, ethicists and civil society representatives. The chapter explores metaphorical crossing places, or the lack of them, between these actors in the negotiation and implementation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBHR) and new national ethical guidelines. It does this through the lens of cosmopolitan democracy, a branch of international relations theory that also constitutes a normative project. It concludes that because international standards applied at the national level have been adapted relative to local contexts, the main tenets of cosmopolitan democracy have been only partly fulfilled by the Kenyan bioethical system. This conforms to the expectation that the project will be achieved gradually rather than in one big step.
Keywords:Kenya, bioethics, internationational relations, governance, cosmopolitan democracy
Subjects:L Social studies > L243 Politics of a specific country/region
L Social studies > L250 International Relations
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:2632
Deposited By: Adele Langlois
Deposited On:10 Jun 2010 08:31
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:25

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