Against wasted politics: a critique of the circular economy

Valenzuela, F. ORCID: 0000-0001-6972-9615 and Böhm, S., 2017. Against wasted politics: a critique of the circular economy. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, 17 (1), pp. 23-60. ISSN 2052-1499

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The discourse of zero-waste and the circular economy has been championed by key players, such as the European Commission, management consultancies, NGOs, academics and multinational companies, in recent years. Given the all too obvious social and environmental crises associated with out-of-bounds growth capitalism, the circular
economy has been one of the main references for rebuilding and reforming a political economy of sustainable growth. In this paper we detect a de-politicizing strategy in this attempt of reform, and, consequently, aim at re-locating a position for the politicization of growth-driven capitalism and the circular economy. We do this by offering a unique
discursive-material theoretical framework, bringing together Marxist and Lacanian psychoanalytic readings. This will allow understanding both the subjective relation with the meaning of waste and the material exchanges that place the subject in the position to
produce and consume waste as a valuable commodity. In our quest to (re-)politicize waste, we offer three practical steps that aim at interrupting the endless repetition of
waste, which include attempts to eradicate it. This argument will be illustrated by making reference to the circular strategies of Apple Inc., the world’s largest and most iconic consumer electronics company.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: In 'Organizing for the post-growth economy' special issue.
Publication Title: Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization
Creators: Valenzuela, F. and Böhm, S.
Publisher: University of Leicester
Date: 27 February 2017
Volume: 17
Number: 1
ISSN: 2052-1499
Rights: cc the author(s) 2017.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 24 Mar 2017 14:09
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:13

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