Reclaiming the Circular Economy - A lecture with Manisha Anantharaman
A lecture with Associate Professor Manisha Anantharaman
Please join us for a lecture with Manisha Anantharaman, Associate Professor at of Justice, Community and Leadership at Saint Mary’s College of California.
Her research and teaching interests connect sustainability and social justice, applying participatory and ethnographic methodologies to examine how economic and political ideologies, social identities, and power relations affect how sustainability is conceptualized and enacted at multiple scales.
The lecture is co-hosted with the Department of Service Management and Service Studies in Helsingborg.
About the lecture
Circular economy is a strategy pursued by the EU, multinational corporations and global development actors looking to reconcile ecological concerns with economic growth imperatives. As a contested concept with diverse enactments, it is a productive area of practice to examine the geographic imaginaries and comparative politics of contemporary sustainability.
Drawing on Dr Anantharaman's fieldwork examining informal recycling work and services in Indian cities, she argue that in an eagerness to realize the “win-win” sustainability solutions that the circular economy offers to businesses and the state, particularly in the EU, the actual globalized socio-spatial work practices that comprise resource circularity are ignored and even undercut. Attempts at establishing circular value chains are undermined by competing urban sustainability agendas, the lack of recognition of informal expertise, and the fundamental contradiction between accumulative and redistributive goals.
She argue that reclaiming the circular economy from the failed promises of ecological modernization would entail embedding resource sharing, reuse, refurbishment, maintenance, and recycling practices in social and solidarity economies, thus creating new circuits of value that are ecologically and socially reparative.
Manisha Anantharaman is an Associate Professor of Justice Community and Leadership at Saint Mary’s College of California and Associate Fellow at Chatham House’s Environment and Society Program. She is a multi-disciplinary scholar whose research and teaching interests connect sustainability and social justice, applying participatory and ethnographic methodologies to explore the potential for, pathways to, and politics of socially-just sustainability transformations.
Her publications include an edited book on “The Circular Economy and the Global South” (Routledge, UK), and a forthcoming monograph with MIT Press (2023) on Communal Sustainability. In 2019, she was the Alba Viotto Invited Professor in Sociology at the Institute for Sociological Research, University of Geneva. She received her PhD from the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management at the University of California Berkeley (2015). You can read more about her research and teaching at manishaanantharaman.com.