Handbook of Biology and Politics
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Handbook of Biology and Politics

Edited by Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit

The study of biology and politics (or biopolitics) has gained considerable currency in recent years, as articles on the subject have appeared in mainstream journals and books on the subject have been well received. The literature has increased greatly since the 1960s and 1970s, when this specialization first made an appearance. This volume assesses the contributions of biology to political science. Chapters focus on general biological approaches to politics, biopolitical contributions to mainstream areas within political science, and linkages between biology and public policy. The volume provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to the subject.
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Chapter 29: Controversies in biology: implications for the study of biology and politics

Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit

Abstract

There are new developments within biology and these have implications for political science generally and the study of biology and politics more narrowly. This chapter will look at four case studies: (1) individual selection versus other models; (2) the roots of altruism and their political implications; (3) the role of genes in politics; and (4) neuroimaging and politics. There is considerable debate within each of these issues, and this chapter will simply note the implications of such debates for the study of biopolitics.

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