In recent years, the circular economy (CE) paradigm has emerged as a mainstream policy discourse having the potential to disrupt linear economic development pathways by extracting and retaining the maximum value from existing resources through their recirculation. Highlighting the diverse circuits of value implicated in local CE development, this article considers how the ecological (material) and extraeconomic (social) premises of CE thinking can be harnessed through mission-driven social enterprises (SEs). Using a case study of a SE project in Graz, Austria, which is engaged in CE activities across the textile, interior design/wood, and food sectors, it proposes a novel heuristic framework for examining the role of circuits of value in constructing alternative circular narratives and local circular economic development trajectories. In doing so, this framework positions SE as an entity entangled in a complex web of interconnected material and social relations and practices that occur across coexisting mainstream and alternative economic spaces of production, exchange, and consumption. By aligning the CE concept with circuits of value, the article further shows the importance of mapping and conceptualizing value flows and feedback loops associated with the local development of the CE in a given spatial and temporal context.
Lekan, M., Jonas, A. E., & Deutz, P. (2021). Circularity as Alterity? Untangling Circuits of Value in the Social Enterprise–Led Local Development of the Circular Economy. Economic geography, 97(3), 257-283. https://doi.org/10.1080/00130095.2021.1931109