Bioprospection practices have proliferated as biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies engage in the collection and genetic screening of biological and genetic resources throughout the world. The purpose of this article is to examine the competing proposals for the institutional framing of bioprospection based on the provisions of access and benefit-sharing embodied in the Convention on Biological Diversity. In particular, through evaluating the contribution of neo-institutionalist and evolutionist propositions in economic theory our aim is to define the conditions of a more reflexive approach to governance in the context of the problem of the emergent regime on access and benefit sharing.