Repair in the Circular Economy

Mobile phone repair

The project will investigate how cultural variation in practical ethics and norms of repair might impact on the interpretation, implementation and contestation of the ideas of a circular and bio-based (CBB) economy.

Through a series of study visits, interviews and other deliberative engagements with practitioners and theorists of repair, it will undertake a discursive and deliberative exploration of practical ethics and norms of repair in contrasting disciplines and cultures, focusing on the prevalence and significance of ethics of care and legibility. It will compare and contrast the interpretations, values and norms revealed in repair practices of restoration, reconstruction, remediation, reconciliation and reconfiguration with those found in CBB economy policy and promotion, so as to derive lessons and recommendations for the effective development of such policy from a better understanding of the normative motivations and constraints influencing repair practices.

The project will run through three phases: first, literature-based analysis of repair disciplines and practices inside and outside of the CBB economy; second, interviews and study visits in three countries to analyze diverse cultures of practical ethics and norms of repair; and thirdly, deliberative engagement with CBB economy actors and policy makers to explore implications for policy and practice.