Thesis subject

Going round in circles 2: The science of circularity applied to (global) food and agricultural

Current debates on carbon footprint, food waste and regenrative agriculture are all based on notions of circularity. Perspectives on circularity hinge on the idea that nutrients, emissions, food, economies etc should go round in some sort of closed system. Critics of these ideas point out that such notions are highly idealistic and go against the laws of nature. The social science version of these notions comes to the fore in representations of isolated (harmonious) communities and local (sustainable) economies.

Research question

How are different notions of circularity supported (or refuted) by scientific and philosophical theories and methodologies?

Key literature

Selection of case or ‘field of application’ in the area of food and agriculture where a particular notion of circularity is developed, combined with literature from Social Studies of Science and philosophy addressing the ontological and epistemological basis of circularity for the case at hand.