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Abstract: In search of a new concept that will provide answers to as to how modern societies should not only make sense but also resolve the social and environmental problems linked with our modes of production and consumption, collaborative consumption and the sharing economy are increasingly attracting attention. This conceptual paper attempts to explain the emergent focus on the sharing economy and associated business and consumption models by applying cascade theory. Risks associated with this behavior will be especially examined with regard to the sustainability claim of collaborative consumption. With academics, practitioners, and civil society alike having a shared history in being rather fast in accepting new concepts that will not only provide business opportunities but also a good conscience, this study proposes a critical study of the implications of collaborative consumption, before engaging in active promotion of this concept as the latest best fix.
Keywords: collaborative consumption, sharing economy, sustainability, availability cascades, cascade theory

There is no paper for this media entry. This was a contribution to a scientific session at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014, which doesn’t exist in written format or is not published under open access.