Transforming the economic system from a linear to a circular economy is critical for realising a sustainable society. New policies and practices need to be developed at the intersection of various institutions and stakeholders. Motivated by the need to connect actors, governance structures, scales and sectors in new and innovative ways, the Circular-project asks: What are the main governance factors driving the co-creation of an innovative circular economy for reduced consumption?
The transition from a linear to a circular economy represents a complex, multifaceted and vital societal challenge that calls for co-created solutions between multiple public and private stakeholders. CIRCULAR addresses this challenge through investigating critical governance factors for facilitating a shift to a circular economy.
Moreover, the project studies the roles of co-creational leadership and intermediaries in the management of this transition. CIRCULAR thus aims to contribute knowledge on how to promote effective design and delivery of a circular economy and reduced consumption.
Mixed-method, interdisciplinary approach
The project is based on a mixed-method, interdisciplinary approach combining collaborative governance analysis, key informant interviews, leadership survey and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). It adopts a novel analytical governance framework applied as heuristics to a comparative set of urban case studies; three cases in Norway, which constitute the main cases, and two comparative cases in international front-running cities on circular economy (Utrecht and Cape Town).
The comparison across different institutional contexts, including in cities of the Global North and the Global South, enhances robustness of findings and learning. An interdisciplinary team of researchers and a panel of experts will, through regular interaction, testing of findings and communication, produce cutting-edge knowledge on how a given constellation of governance factors can facilitate co-created, just, and sustainable circular economies in policy and practice.