Social Sciences, Bioethics, and the Question of Population

Majumdar, Anindita and Mishra, Paro and Kaur, Ravinder (2021) Social Sciences, Bioethics, and the Question of Population. Asian Bioethics Review, 13 (1). pp. 1-5. ISSN 1793-8759

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The deep interconnections between biology, population politics, and ethics have been strongly brought to the fore by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has highlighted the ways in which governments and state machineries calculate, control, and manage entire populations and demographic groupings, akin to what Foucault refers to as ‘biopolitics’ (Burchell et al. 1991): through measures such as complete or partial lockdowns, contact tracing, clinical trials, and vaccination. These steps immediately raise several important ethical concerns around questions of discrimination, inequality, surveillance, security, privacy, right to healthcare, and social protection. In this special issue, we foreground the discussion of bioethics in relation to demography and population politics by focusing on the two most populous countries in the world, India and China. In the process, we seek to enhance our understanding of the ways in which biology is enmeshed with population politics and the nature of bioethical concerns this generates. In doing this, we are guided by the conceptualisation that population as bioresource is not only ‘bioavailable’ (Cohen 2007) but can be rendered into ‘biocapital’ as Rajan (2006) articulates in his study of clinical trial patients.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Majumdar, Anindita0000-0002-5836-0047
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Asian Bioethics Review Volume 13, issue 1, March 2021 Reproduction, Demography and Cultural Anxieties in India and China Issue editors Anindita Majumdar, Ravinder Kaur and Paro Mishra 8 articles in this issue
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioethics, Population
Subjects: Social sciences > Asian Studies
Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2021 04:27
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2021 04:38
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