Library Element Book and Thesis

The Circular Economy in Europe | Critical Perspectives on Policies & Imaginaries

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 15 November 2019

The Circular Economy in Europe. Critical Perspectives on Policies and Imaginaries. By Zora Kovacic, Roger Strand & Thomas Völker. 1st Edition. November 2019. Routledge.

Available OA

The Circular Economy in Europe presents an overview and a critical discussion on how circularity is conceived, imagined, and enacted in current EU policy-making. In 2013, the idea of a circular economy entered the stage of European policy-making in the efforts to reconcile environmental and economic policy objectives. In 2019 the European Commission declared in a press release that the Circular Economy Action Plan has been delivered. The level of circularity in the European economy, however, has remained the same.

Bringing together perspectives from social sciences, environmental economics and policy analysis, The Circular Economy in Europe provides a critical analysis of policies and promises of the next panacea for growth and sustainability. The authors provide a theoretical and empirical basis to discuss how contemporary societies conceive their need to re-organise production and consumption and explores the messy assemblage of institutions, actors, waste streams, biophysical flows, policy objectives, scientific disciplines, values, expectations, promises and aspirations involved.

This book is essential reading for all those interested in understanding how ideas about the circular economy emerged historically, how they gained traction and are used in policy processes, and what the practical challenges in implementing this policy are.


Part I | Circular economy as a policy concept

  • Chapter 1| Introduction | The sixteenth century map
  • Chapter 2| Limits to growth | Historical antecedents of the circular economy
  • Chapter 3| Enter Ellen | The circular economy hits the European scene 
  • Chapter 4| The circular economy | A concept in the making

Part II| Critical perspectives

  • Chapter 5| Postulating circularity | Biophysical flows and the problem of entropy
  • Chapter 6| Imagining circularity | The circular economy as a sociotechnical imaginary
  • Chapter 7| Measuring circularity | Indicator development in the circular economy
  • Chapter 8| Governing circularity | How to govern in the nexus

Part III| The future of change

  • Chapter 9| Narratives of stop and go
  • Chapter 10| What kind of science is needed in a changing world?
  • Chapter 11| From the sixteenth to the twenty-first century








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