Can Nature be exploited? Does the Universe have rights?

This has been a very odd semester, to say the least. Having turned 30, I’ve somehow become antsy; I find myself, for instance, more and more subject to the urge to write fiction, i.e., to “finally get going again” with my childhood passion (and my organization, NewEurasia, may also be taking an arts-cultural turn in its coverage during 2012-13). In terms of the intellectual themes predominating my academic life, I’m starting to move away from strictly Islamological issues and into other terrains that have long interested me, particularly the democratic/liberal theory and environmentalism.

Studying liberalism, of course, intersects with my journalistic work, so it shall come as no surprise to my readers that I’m looking into the phenomenon of “managed democracy” in contemporary Russia and Kazakhstan, and that I shall probably be approaching the topic from the perspective of Claude Lefort. It also feeds into my interests as a member of the Baha’i Faith, namely, whether global democracy is possible, indeed, whether there can be a global understanding of what it means to be “human”.

As for environmentalism, believe it or not, this actually emerges from my background in Averroism, and no, I don’t mean by way of Spinoza; again, it is by way of my childhood resources.

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