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Coordination in European waste management regimes: the role and legitimacy of the waste hierarchy
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9869-9707
Institut d’Urbanisme de Grenoble.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article considers the legitimacy of the waste hierarchy in the context of European waste management regimes. Pragmatic sociology and the economics of conventions are drawn upon to understand how actors legitimate action. The waste hierarchy is placed in the context of the plural systems of legitimacy actors utilise when justifying action. Empirical data from semi-structured interviews with national and local level actors in England and France are used to identify the plural legitimacies which underpin action in waste management regimes, and which actors utilise to justify their use of the waste hierarchy. This data suggest the waste hierarchy is as a principle of coordination justified as both an expression of the environmental efficiency of waste treatment options, and whose implementation is the result of a legitimate policy making process at the European level. The article concludes with a discussion of the qualification and evolution ofthe waste hierarchy.

Keyword [en]
Waste management, waste policy, waste hierarchy, coordination, justification, legitimacy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105800OAI: diva2:572344

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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