Material Limits to Bio-Economies

  • Kean Birch


Although the political-economic materialities of biological matter enable certain bio-economies, they limit others. As a result, those trying to create a bio-economy, as many countries are trying to do, can face a range of unexpected or unintended constraints. This chapter explores these material limits to bio-economies by analysing the enactment of bio-economy strategies through ‘market development policies’ for advanced biofuels in Canada, such as product labelling, standard setting, subsidies, mandates, and feedstock supply contracts. I examine how markets are instituted, reflecting on the way that this can and does conflict with the idea that nature is being neoliberalized. As such, the chapter problematizes the idea that neoliberalism is a simple extension of markets, highlighting how different materialities derail or constrain the installation of markets.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kean Birch
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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