This is a blog about life under two ceilings.
Many of us have aspirations to better the conditions of our family and community. Some of us don’t.
But all of us live under a new reality: there are ceilings over us defining the limits of the possible.
The first ceiling is familiar: our government. Its legislatures, police forces and courts set and enforce the rules that shape many aspects of our everyday existence.
The second ceiling is less so. Because our governments did not trust themselves to set the right shapes (or perhaps simply out of cynicism), they’ve begun creating another level of governance at the global level. It is a patchy system of bureaucracies and court-like structures with obscure acronym names like WTO or ICSID. Its architects belong to our nations, but also operate above them. Many profit from their work building the second ceiling and connecting it to the first. Some participate out of a belief that the second ceiling is necessary or useful.
Many of us do not perceive what relationship (if any) this second ceiling has to our day-to-day lives. But, over time, our aspirations may bump up against one or both ceilings in surprising ways. This blog is about those new realities.
A bit about me: I am from Louisville, Kentucky, but have spent most of my adult life in Washington, DC. I worked for the last ten years at two DC non-profits: Public Citizen (almost 8 years) and Center for Economic and Policy Research (for 2). I was the editor from 2006 through mid-July 2012 of the Eyes on Trade blog at Public Citizen, where I wrote about the legal, political and economic consequences of trade agreements. This year, I am moving to Cambridge, UK, where I will be writing on a dissertation on similar themes from a social science perspective.
I hope you enjoy this blog and join the conversation!