Tacit knowledge and the biological weapons regime

Revill, James and Jefferson, Catherine (2014) Tacit knowledge and the biological weapons regime. Science and Public Policy, 41 (5). pp. 597-610. ISSN 0302-3427

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Abstract

Bioterrorism has become increasingly salient in security discourse in part because of perceived changes in the capacity and geography of life science research. Yet its salience is founded upon a framing of changes in science and security that does not always take into consideration the somewhat slippery concept of ‘tacit knowledge’, something poorly understood, disparately conceptualised and often marginalised in discussions on state and non-state biological weapons programmes. This paper looks at how changes in science and technology—particularly the evolution of information and communications technology—has contributed to the partial erosion of aspects of tacit knowledge and the implications for the biological weapons regime. This paper concludes by arguing that the marginalisation of tacit knowledge weakens our understanding of the difficulties encountered in biological weapons programmes and can result in distorted perceptions of the threat posed by dual-use biotechnology in the 21st century.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: tacit knowledge; biological weapons; bioterrorism; Biological Weapons Convention; international security.
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ5511.2 Promotion of peace. Peaceful change > JZ5587 International security. Disarmament. Global survival
Depositing User: James Revill
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 11:41
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 14:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46723

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