Paper on the assets and challenges of a social economy-based embedding of the circular economy

The paper “Embedding circularity: Theorizing the social economy, its potential, and its challenges” is published online in the Ecological Economics journal. The authors, Thomas Bauwens, Rafael Ziegler, Michael Roy, Simon Teasdale, Ambre Fourrier, and Emmanuel Raufflet, theorize about an alternative, social economy-based embedding of circularity.

The paper begins with a critique of the dominant conception of the circular economy and its shortcomings in relation to allocation, justice, and sustainable scale. Second, the authors theorize how the social economy embeds circularity through: (1) business models reflecting the needs and interests of their stakeholders and, with them, a primacy of social value creation; (2) production and consumption based on active citizen involvement in deliberation and decision-making; (3) an approach to technology that seeks to empower technology users; and (4) the promotion of regional economies and circular value chains based on a sense of place.