In a world of global flows of goods, services, finance, and data, new economic models are on the rise. The sharing economy, the circular economy, the bio-economy, the performance economy or the economy 4.0 cover just some of the terms used to describe this development. Although each describes a different economic model, they all share the idea to use the world’s resources in a more efficient way and, thus, produce social, environmental, and economic benefits. Therefore, more and more policy makers, businesses and NGOs view them as pathways to meet several of the Sustainable Development Goals. As such, each of these models is connected to considerable expectations. At the same time, we know very little about (1) the social, environmental, and economic trade-offs these new models might produce and (2) how these could be met by regulatory processes. On that basis, this panel aims to initiate a structured discussion of these new economic models from a social/political/legal perspective. In order to facilitate exchange, this panel asks for empirical studies of these models as well as theoretical contributions to conceptualize them in relation to sustainability governance. Disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary work is welcome. Possible research questions include, for instance:
Which new socio-economic dynamics are produced by these models? In what aspects are they novel?
What new political dynamics/power structures are produced by the new economic models? What is challenged?
What new regulatory challenges and regulatory trade-offs emerge from such changes?
How are the new models discussed/understood differently across municipalities/states /regions and with what effects for their local/national/global regulation?