Journal of Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

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Challenges and Paradoxes in Researching in Circular Economy

Marlen G. Arnold


Shaping and researching the circular economy involves multiple paradoxes and challenges hardly manageable by a single researcher or practitioner. This perspective argues for taking a more systemic viewpoint and multiple level perspective in order to better interlock skills. A systemic design of circular economy research requires multi-stakeholder collaboration and new opportunities for intervention.


CE, Circular Economy, Challenges, Multi-level, Paradoxes, Skills, Systems Effects


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CEI. 2021. Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany.Cheng, Ichin. 2018. Why Asia matters: Circular Economy in Japan, China and Taiwan, in Martin Charter (Ed.). Designing for the Circular Economy. Springer, S. 54-69.

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Chauhan, Chetna, Parida, Vinit, Dhir, Amandeep 2022. Linking circular economy and digitalisation technologies: A systematic literature review of past achievements and future promises, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 177, 121508,

Corvellec, Hervé, Stowell, Alison F., Johansson, Nils. 2022. Critiques of the circular economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology 26. 421–432.

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Friedrich, B. 2020. Sustainable Utilization of Metals: Processing, Recovery and Recycling. MDPI – Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.

Greer, Rachel, Wirth, Timo von, Loorbach, Derk. 2021. The Waste-Resource Paradox: Practical dilemmas and societal implications in the transition to a circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 303. 126831.

Hobson, Kersty, Lynch, Nicholas. 2016. Diversifying and de-growing the circular economy: Radical social transformation in a resource-scarce world, Futures, Vol. 82, 15-25,

Moreau, V. et al. 2017. Coming Full Circle. Why Social and Institutional Dimensions Matter for the Circular Economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology. Vol. 21, Nr 3. 497-506.

Roberts, H., Zhang, J., Bariach, B. et al. 2022. Artificial intelligence in support of the circular economy: ethical considerations and a path forward. AI & Soc.

Stephan, G. 2022. Circular Economy: Illusion or First Step towards a Sustainable Economy: A Physico-Economic Perspective. Sustainability, 14, 4778.

Toker, K., Görener, A. 2023. Evaluation of circular economy business models for SMEs using spherical fuzzy TOPSIS: an application from a developing countries’ perspective. Environ Dev Sustain 25, 1700–1741.

Trento, L. R. et al. 2021. Industry-retail symbiosis: What we should know to reduce perishable processed food disposal for a wider circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 318 doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128622


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