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A right to repair for a post-growth society: Controversies, opportunities and challenges

Objective

"The need to continuously stimulate consumer demand within saturated capitalist markets has driven manufacturers of electronic equipment to adopt dubious marketing practices associated with planned obsolescence (e.g. they might artificially shorten the lifespan of their products, downplay issues of durability and maintenance during the design stage, and on). The social and ecological costs of these trends are enormous, and the world is currently on track to produce 74 million tonnes of e-waste by 2030. In this context, there is mounting pressure on manufacturers and policy-makers to facilitate consumers the ""right to repair"" (R2R) their electronic devices, rather than relying on the manufacturer to make/authorise repairs with proprietary components. This demand has sparked a controversy concerning the limits of the R2R, with large multinational corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, or John Deere disputing this concept on economic, technical, legal or safety grounds. In this regard, the present project aims at elucidating how ongoing debates and policies about the ""right to repair"" can be conceptualised and implemented to support a transition towards a postgrowth society. The methodology adopted will be based on controversy mapping, which is widely used in the field of Science and Technology Studies. First, a controversy map will be elaborated, showing the different stakeholders and their evolving positions (both for and against) regarding the R2R. Next, fieldwork will be conducted with grassroots organisations and technology activists involved in the R2R campaign. Finally, I will analyse the R2R in light of contemporary postgrowth frameworks to establish key challenges/opportunities for transforming society-technology relations in more sustainable ways. By doing so, this project pushes forward the boundaries of current knowledge and advances our understanding of the role of technology and innovation in postgrowth transitions."

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD DE VIGO
Net EU contribution
€ 181 152,96
Address
Lg Campus Lagoas Marcosende
36310 Vigo Pontevedra
Spain

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Region
Galicia Pontevedra
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
No data