D5.7 Report on Narratives behind Circular Economy Concept

24 June 2019
Circular Economy
Giampietro et al.

Giampietro M, Kovacic Z, Strand R and Völker T. (2019), Report on Narratives Behind the Circular Economy Concept (Revision). MAGIC (H2020–GA 689669) Project Deliverable 5.7. Initial version 29 November 2018, revision 24 June 2019.



This deliverable analyses how the concept of the Circular Economy is being assembled, which type of policies and directives are linked to the Circular Economy and how ideals of circularity affect European policy making

Three main narratives are mobilised in the assembly of the circular economy:

  1. The imaginary of the circular economy. We use the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries to emphasise the futuristic orientation of policy narratives in certain fields, especially those in which future, hitherto undeveloped, technology is expected to play a major role.
  2. Indicators of the circular economy. Indicators are being developed both to provide evidence in support of circular economy policies and to monitor progress towards the circular economy
  3. Critique of the circular economy. The limited circularity of the economy is acknowledged in policy documents.

We acknowledge European policy-makers’ efforts with regard to the Circular Economy as long-term efforts to care for the environment and for sustainability within an overall policy context. However, we believe the lack of circularity of the economy is reason for great concern.

We also argue that the Circular Economy is a nexus policy, because it is an attempt to reconcile economic interests with environmental concerns. This case study, therefore, provides important insights on the governance of the nexus, which will inform phase 2 of WP5.



Document Language: