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Abstracts

On the global distribution and dissemination of knowledge


Nico Stehr and Ulrich Ufer Our article centres on the question in the sense in which it may be possible to speak of global knowledge, in the rst instance. Is it the necessary outcome and the intellectual mark of an age of globalising knowledge societies or is the global demand for the dissemination of knowledge systems trying to answer universally perceived problems? What changes occur to knowledge as it travels and for whom does its globalisation yield benet or harm? Knowledge must be differentiated from mere information and its locally embedded nature poses serious challenges to opportunities and obstacles for its horizontal and vertical dissemination. Further, global worlds of knowledge raise questions over the ownership of knowledge. Intellectual property claims should be discussed with reference to opposing views, such as those concerning the thesis of knowledges self-protective character. Some political and certain idealistic conceptions regard knowledge as common property par excellence. While trade in services and products as well as the digital communications revolution are identied as major vehicles for the dissemination of knowledge, it is yet an open question as to whether they will result in the unhindered dissemination of knowledge or in concentrating it. The second section of the article overviews and introduces the articles in this volume.

The global knowledge encounter: a sociological analysis of the introduction of genetically modied seed in Warangal, India
Ashok Kumbamu From the green revolution to the gene revolution, several studies have examined the socioeconomic and political implications of the spread of new agricultural technologies for millions of farmers in developing countries throughout the world and in India, in particular. The sociological and cultural aspects of farmers decisions in the adoption of the new technologies, however, as well as their receptivity to new cropping methods, the information gap between laboratory and the peasant farmer and the impact of knowledge-based genetically modied (GM) cropping on local knowledge systems have not been signicantly addressed. This article examines the following questions. How do socioeconomic and cultural factors inuence farmers in adopting GM seed? How do farmers perceive, value and understand the new agricultural technologies? What are their implications for agricultural (de)skilling, on the one hand, and the metabolic relationship between the farm community and nature on the other? The spread of GM cotton seed in the Kadavendi village of Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh in southern India, is used as an explanatory case study.

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Abstracts

The political battleeld: negotiating space to protect indigenous and traditional knowledge under capitalism
Janice Busingye and Wiebke Keim Knowledge has increasingly become an essential resource in the global economy, hence the capitalist tendency to regard it as a form of capital and as a motor for innovation and prot. Like any other capitalist commodity, conicts over the ownership and use of various types of knowledge have arisen, thereby calling for legal protection. Nation-states as well as inter-state organisms are developing these legal frameworks in order to regulate the conicts between different social actors. Consequently, thinking on knowledge and power has evolved to include the protection of knowledge from those who seek to gain control of it through the acquisition of legal rights, for instance, intellectual property (IP) rights. In many commercialised industrialised countries, legal frameworks have already been developed to protect IP. These include patents and copyrights as well as other trademarks, database rights and so on. However, in many developing countries with a weak technological base and less commercialisation IP protection mechanisms have not yet become rmly established. This is happening even though they have genetic resources and traditional knowledge that are of value to them and to the world at large. The protection of indigenous knowledge has existed as long as the knowledge itself, but the recognition of such mechanisms has been tightly controlled by stronger powers. In this article we argue that, whatever local communities choose to do to protect their indigenous knowledge, in the context of the current IP regime and the power of commercially driven global actors, the concept of traditional or indigenous knowledge itself becomes political. If the traditionality of knowledge can be reasonably questioned from an epistemological point of view, it would seem possible to claim rights and recognition for local communities in a highly controversial and economically relevant international arena.

Knowledge in development: epistemic machineries in a global context


Hans-Dieter Evers, Markus Kaiser and Christine Mu ller Knowledge has become a decisive and competitive resource for local and global development, especially since the paradigm knowledge for development was initiated and promoted by the World Bank in 19981999. Through the use of novel management structures and technologically supported social networks, development organisations and development experts are central actors in producing and steering global knowledge. In the various regions of the world development experts have established a powerful transnational epistemic community and play a strategic role in knowledge sharing. In the process of electronic modication, knowledge is moderated, codied and standardised to facilitate distribution and possible acquisition. We will portray the emergence of this particular global knowledge architecture and its modes of knowledge engineering. The article indicates that these new eorts of development cooperation, with their ambitious aim of closing the NorthSouth knowledge gap and the digital divide, reproduce exactly those disparities that they seek to overcome. Strategies conceived with the best of intentions end up creating a knowledge trap. The article will give empirical evidence from South-East and Central Asia as well as from West Africa. We plead for a strategy of diversity in development cooperation and for a new constellation in valuing global and local knowledge in the creation of substantial, strong and dynamic knowledge societies.

Alternative modernity: development discourse in post-apartheid South Africa


Ran Greenstein The article examines the notion of alternative modernity as an attempt by states and political actors to assert local control over knowledge and expertise in the face of the pressures of globalisation. Using post-apartheid South

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Africa as a case study, it analyses selected social and economic policies with a focus on the ways in which they construct the meanings of and relationships between local and global knowledge. The post-apartheid South African state has emphasised its goal to conform to global social and economic trends. Its policies are underlined by an assertion of the conventional goals of development, modernisation and economic growth. At the same time, it seeks to place these goals in the context of social and political transition within the country, and pursues them in order to transform existing power relations. For its part, the African National Congress, as the ruling party, has adopted a somewhat alternative vision of development, with a stronger emphasis on the notion of local and African knowledge. Its understanding of this notion, though, has much more to do with the question of who controls and applies knowledge than with the content and origins of that knowledge. The power to decide what knowledge is useful and how it should be applied is central to its concerns. The extent to which such knowledge is truly local or African in origin is a secondary concern. This approach limits the extent to which it can offer a true alternative to mainstream development paradigms.

moved to New Zealand from Mainland China after 1990 along with a case study of interviews with 14 migrant Chinese knowledge workers, to provide evidence on the value of different forms of knowledge for migrants in accessing and carrying out their work and daily life. It argues that, through cultural values, social networks, institutional arrangements and interpersonal relationships in the process through which these skilled Chinese immigrants enter and adapt to New Zealands knowledge society, tacit knowledge is not separate from, but interacts with, explicit knowledge. Therefore, the development of immigration policies should build on a complete concept of knowledge in order to effectively facilitate its cross-cultural application.

Knowledge societies, seen from the South: local learning and innovation challenges
Maria Lucia Maciel and Sarita Albagli Together with the apparently innite possibilities of knowledge diffusion offered by the expansion of information and communication technologies, new forms of social polarisation and economic exclusion are created. The fundamental contradiction of the present mode of knowledge globalisation is that while a few countries, rms and institutions are the main generators of knowledge and innovation, most are being relegated to the role of users. Yet the barriers to the expansion of this mode are precisely the limited capacities to absorb, use and process new knowledge. The article presents and discusses the main currents of thought on this issue, particularly considering the view and the contributions from the South, stressing the need to build a conceptual framework and a political strategy to promote the relations between production and circulation of knowledge and socioeconomic development. This debate is enriched with the results of empirical studies on local knowledge ows and innovation in Brazil. The research focused on local learning and innovation, considering the specic conditions of developing countries. The results point out key elements of these processes: formal and informal communication channels and socially shared codes, values and languages fostering

Different forms of knowledge and new Chinese skilled immigrants adaptation to New Zealands knowledge society
Hong Wang and David Thorns Although it is widely accepted that knowledge plays a key role in the economic activities and social life of knowledge societies, our understanding of what counts as knowledge is often incomplete. The explicit features of knowledge enable it to be codied and thus disseminated globally. This can lead to all knowledge simply being reduced to explicit knowledge. However, scholars draw our attention to the unarticulated, contextualised or tacit dimension of knowledge. This article seeks to explore the role of, and relationship between, the two forms of knowledge in the transnational mobility of migrant Chinese knowledge workers. It combines quantitative data on skilled Chinese immigrants who

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local knowledge ows and favourable sociocultural, historical and institutional conditions for learning by interacting.

The ethics of knowledge production Pacic challenges


Rosemary Du Plessis and Peggy FairbairnDunlop The impact on Pacic peoples of developments in genetic science and the actions of researchers and companies working in the life sciences have prompted increasing discussion about the politics and ethics of knowledge. People in the Pacic have also taken up recent opportunities to discuss initiatives like the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. This article reviews the responses of participants in a number of different gatherings on ethics-related issues in the Pacic. It explores the importance of Pacic ideals of collective rights and the need to recognise the value of indigenous knowledge systems, particularly the way this knowledge has been collectively produced, shared and used. What is distinctive about particular Pacic cultures, what is shared by Pacic people and the negotiated spaces between indigenous thinking and western science are highlighted in this introduction to articles that offer Pacic challenges to established thinking on the ethics of knowledge production.

ethical. If ethics is about moral principles or values, these two Samoan concepts provide the basis for ethical research in a Samoan indigenous context. This article aims at providing a Samoan frame of reference to deliberate about universal codes for bioethical research and the nature of ethical research practice in the Pacic.

Think globally, act locally: collective consent and the ethics of knowledge production
Maui Hudson Ethical review is an integral part of the process of developing research and considering issues associated with the production of knowledge. It is part of a system that primarily legitimises western traditions of inquiry and reinforces western assumptions about knowledge and its benet to society. Around the world the process of colonisation has excluded indigenous understandings. In New Zealand, M aori (indigenous) knowledge has been similarly marginalised; this pattern is also reected within ethical review. M aori values, while acknowledged, are not yet considered to have equal weight in ethical deliberations. The notion of collective rights and the possibility of developing processes to allow collective consent to be recognised and mandated by ethics committees have been raised by communities but largely ignored by the ethical review system. While kaupapa M aori researchers espouse the benets of closer community involvement, policy makers and ethics committees have focused on consultation as the mechanism which conrms proof of engagement, the establishment of community support, and the relevance of the project. This article highlights the potential of the concept of collective consent in negotiations between researchers and communities.

Bioethics and the Samoan indigenous reference


Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Taisi E Bioethical questions are of primary concern to science, religion and traditional or indigenous knowledge. What the indigenous reference can offer the world is a re-appreciation of the rightful place of the spiritual, sacred and tapu (implicit in indigenous cultural rituals) in ethical debates. This article explores what might be the ethical in the Samoan indigenous reference. Two main indigenous Samoan concepts, tapu (the sacred) and tofa saili (the search for wisdom), are considered and situated in contemporary Samoan experiences and understandings of the

Pacic health research guidelines: the cartography of an ethical relationship


Karlo Mila-Schaaf In 2004 the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) published a set of Guidelines

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on Pacic health research. The Guidelines were an attempt to articulate the features of ethical research relationships with Pacic peoples living in Aotearoa New Zealand. This article describes the process of developing these guidelines, using Pacic knowledge paradigms and concepts as a starting point. Central to the discussion are two spatial metaphors, the Pacic concept of Va and Smith, Hudson, et al.s (2008) contemporary concept of the negotiated space. It is asserted that via a conceptual negotiated space, traditional Pacic indigenous ethics were explored and respected in the development of the Guidelines. However, this was balanced with the desire for worldview expansion, knowledge innovation and the development of new philosophies, which required drawing from other knowledge paradigms. The process of deliberating, negotiating and, to some extent, integrating and synthesising values and ideas from different knowledge paradigms characterise the Guidelines as not only a project of restoration but also a project of transformation.

ori advisory committee to the agency of the Ma that administers the legislation, this article examines some of the issues surrounding consultation between M aori and the Crown. Challenges for M aori include issues of mandate, transparency and conicts of interest between individuals, hapu (sub-tribes) and tribal authorities concerning who speaks for the collective. The challenge for Crown regulators is to better understand these complexities and to ensure that adequate time and information is provided for informed consultation between the parties. The development of best practice consultation in a tribal collective, as well as externally between it and the Crown partner, is an issue of international relevance for the ethics of knowledge production and use.

Commodifying cultural knowledge: corporatised western science and Pacic indigenous knowledge
Steven Ratuva

Consultation concerning novel biotechnologies: who speaks for  ori? Ma


Mere Roberts Existing tensions between western science and indigenous knowledge systems, values and beliefs are exacerbated by novel biotechnologies such as genetically modied organisms (GMOs). Under legislation governing GMOs in New Zealand the Crown is required to consult M aori (indigenous people) concerning the potential impact of such technologies on their culture and traditions, as outlined in Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi (signed in 1840 and considered the founding document of New Zealand). Drawing upon research conducted among M aori concerning their views on GMOs, as well as experience gained by the author as a member

This article examines the exploitative interplay between corporate-driven science and Pacic community-based wisdom and the extent to which they accommodate or negate each other. The focus will be on the commodication of traditional knowledge through bio-technology and bio-prospecting and its implications for peoples sense of identity, security and ownership. How do globalisation and the global demand for free trade and commodication impact upon local Pacic communities caught in the dilemma of simultaneously assimilating globalisation and sustaining traditional knowledge and aspirations? The article draws on some experiences of selected communities in the Pacic and how they have responded to this dilemma. It looks at how western science has been used by corporate interests to extract and commodify Pacic knowledge using legal instruments such as patenting.

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