Lorenzen, Kristina. 2019. Sugarcane Industry Expansion and Changing Land and Labor Relations in Brazil. The Case of Mato Grosso do Sul 2000–2016, Working Paper No. 9, Bioeconomy & Inequalities, Jena.
The objective of this paper is to assess how the expanding production of sugarcane-based bioethanol as part of an emerging bioeconomy affects existing social inequalities in land and labor relations. The paper shows that the expansion of the sugarcane industry in the Brazilian federal State of Mato Grosso do Sul transformed existing labor regimes of peasants and Indigenous people.
Lühmann, M. 2019. Wessen Bioökonomie für Europa? Die Ausrichtung der EU-Bioökonomie nach ihrer Aktualisierung, Working Paper Nr. 4, Bioeconomy & Inequalities, Jena.
In October 2018, the EU-commission launched an updated bioeconomy strategy after a review process. This process entailed the possibility to reassess the overall direction in this policy field. Political actors from different sectors of society and with diverging views on the bioeconomy have taken part in these developments. However, the updated bioeconomy policy remains largely unchanged in terms of its orientation. In this paper, these findings are presented and explained, taking into account the role of hegemonic narratives and ideas, as well as the relations of forces in European society.
Puder, Janina. 2019. „My future depends on how many fruit bunches I can harvest“. Migrant workers in the palm oil sector in the wake of a Malaysian Bioeconomy, Working Paper No. 7, Bioeconomy & Inequalities, Jena.
Malaysia is one of the few countries worldwide, which launched a comprehensive na-tional Bioeconomy strategy. The state program involves far-reaching plans to trans-form the national economy into a bio-based, knowledge-driven growth model. These efforts are interlinked with the long-term goal to develop Malaysia into a high-income country and by that, significantly improve the working opportunities and conditions of workers especially from rural areas. The targeted transformations depend particularly on the economic success and further development of the palm oil sector. The sector is characterized by a high share of low-skilled migrant workers performing dirty, danger-ous, and degrading tasks, while higher paid jobs with better working conditions are mostly reserved for Malaysian citizens. In dealing with the societal processes that accompany the Malaysian plans to establish a Bioeconomy, it is of special interest from a socio-economic stance to understand which occupational groups in the palm oil sector are addressed and which are ex-cluded when we examine the progress in the advancement of living and working con-ditions in the country. The present paper argues that migrant plantation and mill work-ers employed in the Malaysian palm oil sector are structurally excluded from the na-tional goal of enhancing the living and working conditions of the population by trans-forming into a Bioeconomy. It is assumed that this exclusion intersects with a specific precarity caused by the socio-economic status of low-skilled migrant workers. Further-more, it is to discuss in what way certain forms of social exclusion in the Southeast Asian Oil Palm Complex are re-/produced transnationally.
Wacker, Ronja. 2019. Bioökonomie in der Transplantationsmedizin. Unser Verständnis von Körpern, Gesundheit und Leben im Wandel, Working Paper Nr. 5, Bioeconomy & Inequalities, Jena.
The health sector buildsasthe third major driving force,together with industry and primary production, the foundation of the bioeconomy. The biotechnological innova-tion generated here are supposed to revolutionize therapy, diagnostics and medica-tion and make the whole sector sustainable. Showing, that this transition does also deeply affect our understanding of bodies, health and life, will be the focus of this paper. Starting with a historical perspective on the preconditions of an emerging bi-oeconomic health sector, thetext will progress to the question, how bioeconomy can be conceptualized followingthe debates on Foucault’s biopoliticsand Marx’ theory of capital subsumption. The implicit processes, which form these conceptualizations,will be illustrated by the example of transplantation medicine, where they proceed to the innermost parts of the human body –organs, tissue and body fluids –andareultimately changing our understanding of bodies, life and health.
Wicke, J. 2019. Sustainable palm oil or certified dispossession? NGOs within scalar struggles over the RSPO private governance standard, Working Paper No. 8, Bioeconomy & Inequalities
Palm oil has become a contradictory and highly controversial resource for biofuel production in the context of emerging bioeconomy policies in Europe and Southeast Asia. Referring to the theoretical politics of scale framework, I analyse the launch of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil private governance standard as a spatial transformation of the regulation of palm oil production. The current paper will focus on the role of NGOs in the process of standard negotiation and implementation in different locations and at different levels of society. I argue that Indonesian NGOs have been relatively successful in advocating the rights of local disfranchised population groups such as palm oil workers, small farmers and affected communities in international negotiation processes. However, I also assert that the lack of enforcement of the standards on the ground seriously undermines NGO advocacy within the framework of the RSPO. These findings suggest that actors shaping the outcomes of bioeconomy policies cannot solely rely on private governance standards to prevent social and environmental problems arising as a result of the production of energy crops.
Lehmann, R. 2018. The conflict surrounding wind power projects in the Mexican Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Wind energy, conflict, and politics of scale, Working Paper No. 3, Bioeconomy & Inequalities, Jena.
Large scale wind farms are highly contested. In southern Mexico, especially local residents protest against the construction of these projects of transnational companies, which generate electricity from renewable resources for end consumers in other parts of the country. The Working Paper describes the context and the main issues of conflict. It examines with a perspective on scale, power relations and politics, why and on which scale actors benefit or not, which strategies actors pursue to assert their interests, and on which power resources they can rely on in this process of rescaling. The paper argues that this is a fruitful perspective to analyze political processes and conflicts related to renewable energies.
Backhouse, Maria; Lorenzen, Kristina; Lühmann, Malte; Puder, Janina; Rodríguez, Fabricio; Tittor, Anne. 2017. Bioökonomie-Strategien im Vergleich. Gemeinsamkeiten, Widersprüche und Leerstellen. Working Paper 1, Bioeconomy & Inequalities, Jena.
This Working Paper undertakes a comparative analysis of the bioeconomy strategies of the EU, OECD, US and Malaysia as well as official papers of the National Scientific Council of Argentina, the Ministry of Science of Brazil and the agriculture and energy strategies of Indonesia. The key questions of interest relate to the definition, problems and goals of the bioeconomy. A comparative view suggests divergent understandings of this concept. While bioeconomy and biotechnology are used almost synonymously in OECD and US strategies, Germany and the EU define the bioeconomy as a biomass-based economy. All other definitions can be situated between these two groups. All strategies justify the bioeconomy by referring to crisis-scenarios and global challenges, with climate change and population growth at the forefront. The argument is usually connected to food security, energy and water supply, and the finite nature of fossil resources. These problems are generally cited to justify the necessity for a transition towards the bioeconomy. Additionally, all papers share an optimistic position with regards to the use of biotechnological innovations to overcome socio-ecological crises. The advancement of bioenergy is an essential part of all bioeconomy strategies, although different levels of emphasis apply. Public support for the biotechnological optimization of plants and microorganisms as sources of energy is regarded as key, as well as the expansion of biorefineries and the development of next generation biofuels. To conclude, this working paper discusses contradictions in the bioeconomy strategies such as the limited participation and consideration of civil society actors as well as the omission of organic farming, while outlining possibilities for further research.
Haas, Tobias. 2017. Bioenergie in der Neuordnung der europäischen Stromversorgung. Die strategischen Praxen des Bioenergieverbandes AEBIOM. Working Paper 2, Bioeconomy & Inequalities, Jena.
The working paper analyzes from a (neo-)gramscian perspective the impact of biomass on the debate about the reorganization of engergy supply. It elaborates how AEBIOM, the most important European association in the bioenergy sector acts in the contested arrangement of the new guidelines for the advancement of renewable energies. Further, the paper evaluates the conflicts and potentials regarding the expansion of the energetic use of biomass.