Values of Repair Practices

The project investigates how cultural variation in practical ethics and norms of repair impact on the interpretation, implementation and contestation of the ideas of a circular economy (CE).

Through a series of study visits, interviews and other deliberative engagements with practitioners and theorists of repair, the project undertakes a discursive and deliberative exploration of practical ethics and norms of repair in contrasting disciplines and cultures, focusing on the prevalence and significance of ethics of care and legibility. The project compares and contrasts the interpretations, values and norms revealed in repair practices of restoration, reconstruction, remediation, reconciliation and reconfiguration with those found in CE policy and promotion, so as to derive lessons and recommendations for the effective development of such policy from a better understanding of the normative motivations and constraints influencing repair practices. The project runs through three phases: first, literature-based analysis of repair disciplines and practices inside and outside of the CE; second, interviews with repairers and CE actors to analyze diverse cultures of practical ethics and norms of repair; and thirdly, deliberative engagement with repairers, CE actors and policy makers to explore implications for policy and practice.

Participants in the project are Seed Box researchers Jonas Anshelm and Johan Niskanen, LiU.

Anshelm deals mainly with the history of ideas related to controverses concerning the environmental impact of socio-technical systems. Nuclear power, mining, geoengineering and climate change mitigation are topics of special interest. Niskanen deals mainly with how perceptions of energy and environmental change are transformed into practice, focusing on sustainable innovations and circular economies.

The project also invites Duncan McLaren, Lancaster University and LiU as a project collaborator.

Photo: Susan Reid



FEBRUARY 7–11 • 2022


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