Newer approaches to waste/discard studies have so far hardly been institutionalized in the German-speaking scientific community. Against this background, the aim of the proposed network is to establish a joint, interdisciplinary discussion context in which the hitherto rather dispersed contributions from different disciplines are brought into a structured exchange (internal effect). This should result in a longer-term interdisciplinary research cooperation on the network topic, which will also contribute to a stronger perception of the research field beyond the funding period (external effect). By involving international guests as well as network members from nearby countries – Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Croatia, Norway and the Netherlands – the participating young researchers also network internationally.

In terms of content, the exchange aims to understand and explain waste and waste movements as an effect of relations. To this end, the network takes up considerations from waste and discard studies, discusses them critically, and develops them theoretically and methodologically at the intersections of human geography, cultural anthropology, sociology, political science, and science and technology studies (STS). To this end, newer approaches to waste research are first systematized as well as continuities and breaks with existing research debates are elaborated. Based on this, the network will jointly develop an analytical framework that focuses on the practices, structures and entities that generate waste and pollutants and set them in motion in the first place. The insights gained will eventually be fed back into broader, international debates on waste/discard studies and introduced into a dialogue with the interested public.