Research Article

Systems and Synthetic Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 107-114

First online:

The art of trans-boundary governance: the case of synthetic biology

  • Joy Y. ZhangAffiliated withSchool of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent Email author 

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Synthetic biology raises few, if any, social concerns that are distinctively new. Similar to many other convergent technologies, synthetic biology’s interface across various scientific communities and interests groups presents an incessant challenge to political and conceptual boundaries. However, the scale and intensity of these interfaces seem to necessitate a reflection over how corresponding governance capacities can be developed. This paper argues that, in addition to existing regulatory approaches, such capacities may be gained through the art of trans-boundary governance, which is not only attentive to the crossing and erosion of particular boundaries but also adept in keeping up with the dynamics among evolving networks of actors.


Art of governance Synthetic biology Boundary Global governance