ISRF Independent Scholar Fellow 2018-19
ISRF Independent Scholar Fellow 2018-19
Alexander I. Stingl gained a PhD in sociology in 2008, after studying social sciences, philosophy, (US-)American studies, and economics between 1997 and 2008 in Erlangen and Nürnberg, Germany. He is an empirical philosopher and sociologist of cognitive cultures and organizations, studying extended, embodied and enacted cognitive cultures and the modes of belonging, participation, and provisioning that they produce. This interest is applied to the following five empirical arenas: (1) bioeconomy and justice, (2) biodigitalization (interaction between non-conscious elements of life and digital objects), (3) biomedicalization and digitalization of childhood, (4) digital health care capital and social inequality, and (5) neurosociology and neurohumanities of gastronomic and sexual appetites. As of May 2018, he is holds a 2018/19 Independent Scholar Fellowship (ISF4) by the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF), through which he will be hosted by the Fondation Maison de sciences de l’homme (FMSH), Paris. Since 2017, he is chercheur associé with the Chaire du èconomie du bien-être at the Collège d’études mondiales, Paris. He has been an associate lecturer at the College of Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany, from 2011 to 2018. In 2017, supported by a fellowship from a joint Franco-German exchange fund by FMSH, German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), he collaborated on the International Panel on Social Progess. Since 2014, he is a research consultant with the Institute for General and Family Medicine of the University Clinic Erlangen, Germany.
In the past decade, bioeconomy has become a “hot topic” for scientists, businesses, policy-makers, and activists. Bioeconomy combines technological progress (the use of biotechnologies) and market thinking (economic profitability) with human flourishing and social progress. It features a minimal consensus among different actors and organizations regarding the concepts of justice, value and utility.
My inquiry “What and whose justice in the bioeconomy?” investigates how actors in the bioeconomy discourse understand and use justice, value, and utility through a “logic of extraction”, and consider value largely measurable as monetary value and utility as human utility. I challenge this interpretation and investigate the necessity and the possibility of different concepts, such as generative justice attuned to the complex biological and ecological interdependencies between human beings and other living organisms in the real bioeconomy. Bioeconomy as a new political and economic agenda overlooks, for example, the existence of already existing bioeconomies that have grown over long periods of ecological history as well as diversity of bioeconomic rationalities that separates the Global North and the Global South.
In my project, I will (a) evaluate theories of justice, prevalent in political philosophy and economic theory, regarding their explicit and implicit logic of production, and definition of value and utility; (b) conduct an inquiry into the concepts of justice, value, and utility held by actual principals and agents of the bioeconomy, such as scientists, politicians, regulators, and business representatives; (c) formulate a possible alternative for justice, value, and utility, such as generative justice, that can possibly reconcile the global Northern state of affairs with other genres of provisioning without leading to a precarization of life. This interdisiciplinary project will use a form of discourse analysis integrating literature reviews, observations, and interviews to construct “ideal-type”-like discursive lenses that allow comparison of different concepts for “value” and “utility”.
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