While there is common agreement that the transition towards a Circular Economy could foster more sustainable futures, there is a lack of discussion about how a truly (viable, feasible, and desirable) circular economic system should be organised. Most of the current literature on Circular Economy fails to recognise this, presenting the transition towards a Circular Economy as a straightforward, neutral, and apolitical process, implicitly characterised by a techno-optimistic and eco-modernist stance. Most Circular Economy work is conducted at the practical and technical levels, looking at material and energy flows in production-consumption systems. Emphasis is placed on metrics, tools, and instruments; however, the basic assumptions concerning societal structures, along with underlying worldviews which should be embedded in a Circular Economy are largely overlooked or unclear.

Funded by the European Commission Marie Skłodowska Curie Staff Exchange Actions (HE-MSCA-SE), ExPliCit will be characterised by the following main avenues of research:
  • Practical and theoretical investigations about the compatibility of CE models with free-market and growth-oriented economic contexts will be explored;
  • The emergence of alternative CE framings will be investigated, along with their links to alternative production networks
  • A comparison of linear and circular production systems in selected industries (for instance, electrical and electronic equipment) will be performed, by assessing, across a wide range of economic, environmental and social indicators, and through a life-cycle assessment perspective, the performances of alternative systems linked to alternative circular futures.
  • An investigation about policy mechanisms and initiatives needed for favouring the implementation of CE systems will be undertaken
Such research objectives will be mainly pursued through the exchange of staff among academic, industrial and third sector organisations participating in the consortium.