Biological or Democratic Citizenship

Vilhjálmur Árnason*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter starts with a description of an Icelandic case of a national collection of biosamples in the spring of 2014. A critique of the collection and a reaction to that critique is presented. In the wake of these descriptions, the case and its relation to population genetic research is discussed in light of two different views on scientific citizenship. The first view is Rose’s and Novas’ analysis of “biological citizenship” (Rose N, Novas C. Biological citizenship. In: Ong A, Collier SJ (eds) Global assemblages: technology, politics, and ethics as anthropological problems. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, pp 439–463, 2004) and the other view draws on deliberative democratic theory (I have discussed these views in Árnason 2013 and I draw largely on that paper in my theoretical discussion here). It is shown how these two views disclose very different features of the collection of biosamples and the population genetic project in Iceland. It is argued that these two views provide complementary perspectives that are both necessary to throw light on the bioethical and biopolitical issues relevant for analyzing this case.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvancing Global Bioethics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameAdvancing Global Bioethics
ISSN (Print)2212-652X
ISSN (Electronic)2212-6538

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG.

Other keywords

  • Biological citizenship
  • Biosamples
  • Biovalue
  • Deliberation
  • Novas
  • Rose


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