Institutionalising the circular economy in regional strategies in Poland: An adaptive governance approach




circular economy, development strategy, institutionalization, NUTS-2, regional strategy, regions; voivodeship


A new concept charting a new direction for regional socio -economic development in the early 2020s is the circular economy (CE). The novelty means that there is no empirically verified methodology for implementation, and therefore, the extent and scope of incorporating CE into regional declarations and actions will vary. For regions, structured activities should follow the adopted development strategy. Therefore, based on an analysis of the invocation of the CE concept in elements of the strategic management model, included in the regional development strategy (2018–2021), it is possible to determine the degree of its structuring. For this purpose, content analysis and correlation analysis were used. The study aims to explain differences in the institutionalisation of CE in voivodeship development strategies in Poland. The article hypothesises that a high level of CE structuring is correlated with its definition in the strategy and also the state of the environment in the region, and explains the variation in CE institutionalisation using adaptive governance theory. We conclude, based on the results, that regions with higher environmental pollution use CE in more detail in regional development strategies.


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Author Biographies

Marek Ćwiklicki, Krakow University of Economics

Marek Ćwiklicki, Ph.D., Dr Habil., Full Professor, Professor at the Krakow University of Economics. Head of the Department of Public Management in the College of Economics and Public Administration. Professor of Social Sciences (2020), Dr. Habil. in economics in the discipline of management science (2012), PhD in economics in the discipline of management science (2003). Author and co- author of works on the transition and implementation of circular business models, digital and social entrepreneurship, public management and quality management. Editor and co- editor of academic journals (e.g. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, Social Entrepreneurship Review, Journal of Public Governance. Research interests: the circular economy and sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, public management, quality management, university- business cooperation, research methodology

Anna Mirzyńska, Krakow University of Economics

Anna Mirzyńska, research assistant at the Krakow University of Economics. In June 2022, she opened her dissertation with the topic The institutionalization of the circular economy into national public policy in 2015–2022. She is implementing a grant funded by the National Science Center concerning CE policy creation in Poland. Research interests: circular economy, CSR, sustainable development, the social economy ORCID:

Michał Żabiński, Krakow University of Economics

Michał L. Żabiński is an assistant professor at the University of Economics in Krakow. His main research interests include institutional economics, behavioral economics and narrative economics, local government and public management. An expert actively involved in many national research and implementation projects in the fields of public management, quality management in local government administration and the social economy. Co -author and expert in the implementation of the Institutional Development Planning method – the Polish method of self -assessment of institutional development in local government units. Author and co -author of several dozen academic publications in the fields of public management, functioning of local government administration and quality management in local government administration.


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How to Cite

Ćwiklicki, M., Mirzyńska, A., & Żabiński, M. (2024). Institutionalising the circular economy in regional strategies in Poland: An adaptive governance approach. Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society, 38(2), 7–27.