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Diversifying and de-growing the circular economy: radical social transformation in a resource-scarce world

Hobson, Kersty ORCID: and Lynch, Nicholas 2016. Diversifying and de-growing the circular economy: radical social transformation in a resource-scarce world. Futures 82 , pp. 15-25. 10.1016/j.futures.2016.05.012

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Programmes and policies for a Circular Economy (CE) are fast becoming key to regional and international plans for creating sustainable futures. Framed as a technologically driven and economically profitable vision of continued growth in a resource-scarce world, the CE has of late been taken up by the European Commission and global business leaders alike. However, within CE debates and documentation, little is said about the social and political implications of such transformative agendas. Whilst CE proponents claim their agenda is ‘radical’, this paper outlines its inability to address many deeply embedded challenges around issues of consumption and the consumer, echoing as it does the problematic (and arguably failed) agendas of sustainable consumption/lifestyles. Using the Sharing Economy as an example, we argue here that the ontological and sociological assumptions of the CE must be open to more ‘radical’ critique and reconsideration if this agenda is to deliver the profound transformations that its advocates claim are within our collective reach.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND) This journal has an embargo period of 24 months.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0016-3287
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 30 May 2016
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 12:07

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