I love to observe societal processes, today and in times long past. Having begun from afar, by acquiring a doctorate in history from Cambridge, I have gradually worked my way to studying the public life of my society, looking for solutions to policy problems and major attitude shifts. Since 2004, I work at the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS in Riga, because this is a place where I can indulge my passion for controversy.
An ardent individualist, I do not shun disagreement with the majority. Authority is my greatest allergy. So far I have not discovered a person with whose opinion I am disinclined to argue - with the important exception of my two cats, Tullius Philip and Gareth.
This week I was at a seminar where representatives of government institutions responsible for the integration of migrants in EU countries presented their ideas on the symbolic aspects of citizenship and the content of common values. The topic sounded interesting, and I have to confess I expected a genuine discussion on what makes up the core of democratic citizenship and related values in our societies, and how governments could strengthen the appeal of civic participation for recent migrants. The discussion, however, turned out to be about vastly different issues. Lasi