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Daniel Augusto Pinheiro Astone

About me

I am a doctoral candidate at Stockholm University and a Junior Fellow of the Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice. My main research interest lies in exploring intellectual property in the context of access to essential medicines as a negotiation between the right to property and the right to life, or more specifically, in terms of enabling situations of stable coexistence between abundance and lack. I am supervised by Professor Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt (main supervisor) and Professor Pål Wrange (assistant supervisor).

Property is the heart and soul of my research drive, one that I tackle from different perspectives, namely law, economics and sociology. This is also why I chose to pursue an article-based dissertation. I begin with a canonical understanding of law and economics to study the construction of scarcity as a multifaceted concept, one that purportedly creates value by making scarce something that would not be otherwise (discrete knowledge “parts” contained in a patent) and matches the access to an asset to the relative resource scarcity among different people (scarcity as lack, e.g. of money).

Then I pursue an analysis of the communications implied by the market economy, the price signals. If needs and desires must be expressed through such signals, prices act as a substitute to voice (price-as-voice). This medium ultimately leads to the commodification of both parties of a transaction. While the commodification of the individual is a well-studied subject in social theory, I am further examining the subjectification of the commodity as a recipient of the residual properties once attributed to the individual (i.e., the right to life, or the observation that people must die for a patent to live).

These findings frame the current stage of the research. On the one hand, I am currently developing an empirical assessment of the Medicines Patent Pool and the institute of patent waivers, as representatives of system-compliant solutions that nonetheless recognise pressing problems left unsolved by the patent system. The other is a deeper understanding of the inheritance of attributes between subject and object in the scope of commodification. They would provide means to answer my research question thus far: How to redefine the patent system as an expression of transnational solidarity and recognition in the light of the contemporary challenges to global health?

In addition to my current research agenda, I am interested in critical and social theory, critical approaches to international law and political economy, and methodology.




I have a degree in Law (2009), a postgraduate diploma in Economic Law (2015) and a master's degree in Economic and Budgetary Law (2017). Previously to joining Stockholm University, I was a PhD student at the University of Glasgow (2018).

I have experience as a legal advisor in the fields of technology, innovation and transparency, in the public sector (2008-2015) and in several research and consultancy projects (2015-2018). 

Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

Show all publications by Daniel Augusto Pinheiro Astone at Stockholm University