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Circulating Objects, Changing Scales: Circular Cambodian Worlds and Economies

By Casper Bruun Jensen

Cite As:
Jensen, Casper. 2023. “Circulating Objects, Changing Scales: Circular Cambodian Worlds and Economies.” Cultural Anthropology 38, no. 2: 251–273.


Across the planet, the circular economy has grown into a complex governance agenda. This is also the case in Cambodia, where various formal and informal circular activities have recently coalesced into new arrangements. However, much more is at stake than questions of economic governance. By tracing the circulation of diverse objects between practices guided by different worths and correspondingly variable enactments of circularity, the present travelogue exhibits circular worlds in tension. The relative significance of these worlds and worths is negotiated and tested at sites where representatives of many worlds are present. Later, some circular formats materialize in distributed practices, scale up, and gain in reality. Others linger in the shadows, obstructed by visions of the circular economy as a single integrated system. This exercise in applied metaphysics elicits circularity and its diverse potentials as patchwork effects of circulations between uncommon worlds.


circular worlds; plastic scale-making; uncommons; waste; worths


Copyright (c) 2023 Casper Bruun Jensen Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.