Repair for a Broken Economy:Lessons for Circular Economy from an International Interview Study of Repairers

Niskanen, Johan and McLaren, Duncan and Anshelm, Jonas (2021) Repair for a Broken Economy:Lessons for Circular Economy from an International Interview Study of Repairers. Sustainability, 13 (4). ISSN 2071-1050

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Abstract

The idea of replacing the broken linear economy with circular forms to help address the current sustainability crisis is gaining world-wide traction in policy, industry, and academia. This article presents results from an international interview study with 34 repair practitioners and experts in different fields. The article aims to improve understandings of the potential of repair so as to contribute to a more just, sustainable, and circular economy. Through a five-step qualitative method the results reveal and explore three tensions inherent in repair: first, repair activities constitute different forms of subjectivity; second, repair entails different and sometimes contested temporalities; and finally, even though repair is deeply political in practice, the politics of repair are not always explicit, and some repair activities are actively depoliticized. The opportunities and obstacles embodied in these tensions are generative in repair practices and debates, but poorly reflected in contemporary circular economy discourse. We conclude that a richer, more inclusive, and politicized understanding of repair can support environmental justice in the implementation of circular economy (CE) and provide greater opportunities for just and transformational sustainability strategies and policies.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Sustainability
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3305
Subjects:
ID Code:
155945
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 Jun 2021 12:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2021 16:30