I set up this blog in 2013, when I became co-editor of Lacuna Magazine. The idea was to provide more bite-sized and accessible commentary on the articles we produced for Lacuna. Then we set up a facebook page and a twitter feed for the magazine and the blog seemed a little redundant (other aspects of my busy life also got in the way!).
So why re-launch it now? Primarily it is because of events surrounding Brexit. Academics appeared largely invisible in the debates leading up to the referendum. Expertise was vilified and treated as an irrelevance. I helped produce articles for Lacuna in the run-up to the referendum vote, but in hindsight I wish I had done more (I know I am not alone among academics in feeling this).
So I don’t want to wait until I have crafted an academic paper, policy brief, or Lacuna article before I try to get my ideas out. This blog will provide a more regular outlet for my thoughts.
Of most direct relevance to Brexit, I spend a lot of my time researching about trade policy issues. The UK is currently inching its way towards a post-Brexit trade policy (although it doesn’t feel like we are making much progress at the moment – see my first re-launch post on this). I will provide commentary on this process as it unfolds, focusing on the broader social implications of the UK’s policy for the UK population and its trading partners.
I also want to share other aspects of my ‘expertise’. I research broader issues of business, trade and investment, often from a human rights perspective. I also have a passion for working with schools – but I am worried about the role that universities can and should play in such a fast-changing educational environment. I am also passionate about writing on social justice issues (see my Centre’s Writing Wrongs project) – its the core mission of Lacuna and the basis of much of the work I do with schools. So expect some posts on those issues as well. I hope it is of interest….