A Bumper!? An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship between the Economy and the Environment
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This thesis is concerned with the relationship between the economy and the environment. The relationship is often portrayed as a conflict in public discourse, as if what is good for the economy is bad for the environment and vice versa. The thesis tries to discern if there are common elements in the economy and the environment and how these have eventually become shared. The underlying model assumes that the economy and the environment can be depicted as two separate networks and that elements have to be shared for any relationship to exist. Of course, in real life, the economy and the environment is interwoven, inseparable and too large to be contained within the pages of a thesis. In order to investigate the relationship, it has thus been necessary to delimit the study to only parts of each network. One of the more important assumptions is that industry is decisive for the production of the economy whereas science is decisive for the production of the environment. Hence, the study should focus on an object that is found in both industry and science. This is done by focusing on aluminium bumpers as the empirical object. Both aluminium and cars have been subject to environmental debates and they are both industries involving large sums of money. In order to aid the production of empirical descriptions, industrial network theory (IMP) and actor-network theory (ANT) have been employed.
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