This introductory chapter situates the current edited volume at the crossroads of two powerful developments: the exponential growth of global waste generation since the early twentieth century, and the rise of nations of the Asia-Pacific region as economic powerhouses. In the beginning of the essay, Pál and Borowy venture out to explore the global history of waste and discards, as well connect it with the specific cultural-, social-, and economic aspects within the Asia-Pacific region. By doing so, the authors propose a new waste paradigm, particularly as it pertains to Asia, in which both historical and contemporary definitions of waste are represented. In the second part of the essay, the authors introduce the individual chapters and their relation to the overall theme of the book. These thematic chapters include case studies related to cities and living, food and human waste, design and art. By introducing these chapters and describing how they are connected, the second part aims to orient readers about the overall structure of the volume and the interconnections of the various case studies.
Social and Cultural Aspects of the Circular Economy argues for a social and solidarity economy (SSE) to combine individual actions with a wider cultural shift. It will be an important read for scholars, researchers, students and policy-makers in circular economy, waste studies, consumption and other environmentally focused social sciences.
"Viktor Pál has written an important book that makes long-overdue contributions to the economic history of Eastern Europe and of socialist economic development." (Journal of Economic History, May 2021)
This book explores the theme of environmental politics and authoritarian regimes on both the right and the left. The authors argue that in instances when environmentalist policies offer the possibility of bolstering a country’s domestic (nationalist) appeal or its international prestige, authoritarian regimes can endorse and have endorsed environmental protective measures.