Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCentral European U.
Grant numberGr. 10589
Approve DateSeptember 29, 2023
Project TitleBacsadi, Zsófia (Central European U.) "Invisible Veins of Europe: The Circulation of Blood Plasma and the Narratives of Gift and Commodity in the EU"
This project explores the emerging European Union discourse of self-sufficiency in plasma provision. Focusing on three lobbying organizations that operate between various actors along the plasma supply chain and EU institutions I ask: How did self-sufficiency emerge as an aim and how did plasma become “strategic resource” in the EU? How do different actors in the plasma field formulate moral arguments about the division (or interconnection) between gift and commodity? How do they interact with EU stakeholders with the aim of shaping plasma-related regulations? And more widely, how do their lobbying efforts and resulting shifts in plasma circulation contribute to the making of a European unified market and/or biological and moral community? I propose to address these questions by combining participant observation of interactions between plasma-related experts and stakeholders with textual and discursive analysis of policy documents connected to plasma procurement. Through this work, my research aims at investigating how the moralization of plasma donation along the axis of gift and commodity is reshaping the circulation of plasma and its conceptualization inside the EU while contributing to the (re)making of the Union, not just as an economic and political entity but also as a moral community.