Journal of Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

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Exploring the Limitations of a Circular Economy Under Capitalism and Raising Expectations for a Sustainable Future

Pauline Deutz


The concept of a circular economy has gained remarkable policy and academic traction.  Associated expectations of social benefits are underexamined.  Driven by the current perilous state of the environment and society, this article pulls aside the curtain of perceived academic political neutrality that hides the implications of capitalism.  Whilst a circular economy brings new options for business, places and individuals, political action is needed to bring about significant, and lasting, change.  A system driven by profit does not and cannot respond to needs.  It is time for a serious discussion to improve the prospects for everyone’s future.


Circular Economy, Capitalism, Postcapitalism, Society, Degrowth, Policy


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