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ESR 13

ESR 13
Politics and governance in a circular plastics economy

  • TITLE: Politics and governance in a circular plastics economy

  • HOST: Ghent University (Belgium)

  • MAIN SUPERVISOR: Prof. dr. E. Paredis (UG)

  • CO-SUPERVISOR: Prof. dr. M. Jaeger-Erben (TUB)

  • START DATE: Between 01.04.2020 and 01.06.2020

  • DURATION: 36 months

  • REQUIRED DEGREE: Master Degree in social sciences (political sciences, sociology, innovation studies, economics, law, science and technology studies, or related fields)


    • Experience with qualitative, interpretive research design and/or mixed methods in political and policy analysis; experience with analytical approaches such as discourse analysis and network analysis is recommended

    • Affinity with sustainable development, sustainability transitions, and circular economy
      Be able to function in an interdisciplinary research setting with natural scientists and engineers

    • Verifiable writing and communication skills

    • Good Dutch and/or German language skills are advantageous


    • Research tasks include: literature review, methodology development, interviews, document analysis, case study analysis, focus groups, media analysis

    • Writing up research for publication in international journals, book chapters

    • Presentation of project results at national and international conferences

    • Participation in C-PlaNeT activities

  • OBJECTIVES: The research will analyze how the circular plastics economy is being developed in the EU and its member states, which interpretations of a circular plastics economy exists, whose definition dominates, why and how. On the basis of case studies, it will further investigate how these interpretations translate into particular transition policies for the plastics economy, how the governance of the circular plastics economy is taking shape in particular cases and which governance approaches can accelerate the transition to a circular plastics economy. The research will be done in close collaboration with ESR 5, 6 and 14. 

  • PLANNED SECONDMENTS: Internship at the City of Ghent for a case study on the development of circular plastics policy in Flanders/Ghent (2 months); secondment with TU Berlin for a case study on the development of circular plastics policy in Germany/Berlin (6 months)

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