I attended a fabulous meeting of minds today at Middlesex University.
As part of my work on the political economy of human rights, I met with my collaborators Professor David Kernohan, Professor Joshua Castellino, and Dr T. H. Edwards to discuss a series of new papers we are writing.
These papers are truly inter-disciplinary and bring together law, economics, and political science in ways that address fundamental questions of state power and the role of international institutions and norms in the contemporary world.
We attended Dr Edwards paper presentation on Horizontal Technological Barriers to Trade (HTBT), which was a fascinating exploration of firm and country behaviour in the era of the WTO, which ostensibly prohibits trade barriers. The paper was a game theoretic model of firm and country choice with repect to regulation.
This was followed by a fantastic discussion over a table full of quality Turkish food. Our group has submitted a panel proposal for a conference on Human Rights and Peace after the Cold War being organised by the International Political Science Association (IPSA) in Korea for next June.
It is refreshing to leave your own institutional environment and kindred spirits elsewhere for a fulsome discussion of really interesting research questions. It is also nice to meet with people that care about the systematic analysis of evidence in support of human rights, not to mention discussing the finer points of spatial econometrics while munching on a chicken doner!
I have high hopes this programme of research and the bonds of intellectual friendship that it brings.