My interests have scaled up in scope and breadth during the last year. From a trade and environment perspective with a distinct focus on law and economics I have gradually moved to more philosophical inquiries on the philosophy of value, the curious role of democracy and the nation state, and perhaps especially the stumbling blocks related to power that lie inherent in modern international political strategy.
Especially the connections between these areas and the reshifting of focus from what I consider to be rather archaic modes of operation are of great interest to me.
Along these lines, I have developed the embryo to a philosophical system of power, will and value that I believe can hold some use in being applied to explaining why the modern environmental agenda is in its current sorry state. It is not a magic pill that will give “the answer”, for there is no such silver bullet. But it might, in my opinion, give us a better understanding of why things are the way they are. Hopefully, through later application, it can be used for the realignment of perspectives that I believe are needed to come to grips with many of the most pressing challenges facing us. As I am at Oxford University now, I will spend my upcoming year fleshing out this embryo into a presentable state. Likely I will need more time for a fuller picture though.
I have two upcoming articles coming up also. When they are officially published I will be sure to put up links here. Especially one of them will be highly relevant and interesting to anyone interested in the big picture of how geopolitics affect the environmental agenda. Also there is good material in there on how modern public policy priorities relate or do not relate to powerful vested business interests and the interesting relation that holds to the weakening status of the nation state.
What I thus aim to say with this post is that Trade and Environment is likely to constitute a stepping stone for me in moving towards exploring these broader themes, and this will be reflected in my work and writing. Writing this blog has given me many insights, but the more philosophical, synergistic and big picture nature of my interests will dominate my work going forward. Obviously, I am of the opinion that this is also what is needed at this time with regards to thinking about many of these diverse yet interlocking issues. It is not for lack of technical expertise in law or economics that we do not progress as quickly as hoped. There are more subtle forces at work, many of whom cannot be reached by quantitative methods, hard science or any of the other things that make us feel in control. To focus squarely on them, make the connections, and move them from vagueness to clarity is what I plan to do.