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Conventional regimes: Part II: A case study of German plastic waste management from a conventional perspective
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9869-9707
Institut d’Urbanisme de Grenoble.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article analyses the evolution of German plastic waste management technologies. Using insights from the economics of conventions, we investigate why the course of events led action to transpire in a specific way, when in the same conditions different actions may have occurred. The development of feedstock recycling niche was heavily affected by the political objectives of the regime. The establishment of these objectives were in turn influenced by actors’ games played out within the regime, in the context of the prevailing conventional principles and conventional objectives which regulate human action. In addition to market forces, the decline of feedstock recycling can then be related to its role as a strategy which was not in keeping with the strict interpretation of the prevention and valorisation principles, whose articulation formed the core principles ofthe German waste management regime.

Keyword [en]
Economics of conventions; Conventions; Coordination; Innovation; Waste management; Plastic waste
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105798OAI: diva2:572343

QS 2012

Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-27 Last updated: 2012-11-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life Cycle Thinking and Waste Policy: Between Science and Society
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life Cycle Thinking and Waste Policy: Between Science and Society
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the application of life cycle thinking (LCT) and life cycle assessment (LCA) in the field of waste management from perspectives based in the social sciences. LCT is explored through the theoretical construct of regimes, drawing theoretical resources from a combination of the ‘pragmatic turn’, the economics of conventions and transition theory.This work is based on eight papers treating theoretical arguments, qualitative and quantitative analysis, case studies and semi-structured interview data. LCT is placed in the context of contemporary societies. LCA is seen as an instrument of quantification and evaluation used by actors which have both similar and disparate objectives, and who offer justifications for its use through arguments embedded in conflicting pluralities of worth. Furthermore, this work analyses LCA as a tool for the qualification of the waste hierarchy; a waste management principle articulating a convention based on closed material cycles. This study argues that the technological trajectory of waste management regimes has been significantly influenced, inter alia, by actors’ institutional articulation of the waste hierarchy at national and territorial levels. It discusses the legitimacy of LCA, and the quantitative application of LCT, as an intermediary object used to qualify the waste hierarchy. Furthermore, LCT is placed in a prospective context which may be used to assist in the transition toward sustainable waste management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. xiii, 131 p.
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2012:30
Life cycle thinking; life cycle assessment; waste policy; waste hierarchy; coordination; conventions; legitimacy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105781 (URN)978-91-7501-555-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-17, F3, Lindstedtsvägen, 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20121127

Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-26 Last updated: 2012-11-27Bibliographically approved

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Lazarevic, DavidBrandt, Nils
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