A New Accounting
& Taxation Paradigm
Thomas Olsen, Master of Philosophy & Master of International Relations
Or How Resource
Consumption Tax Can Replace Profit- and Income Tax
we have such large forest fires and devastating floods at the same time?
How come temperatures are souring well above our comfort-levels in places
like Canada and Siberia? How come billions of tons of ice melt in Greenland
in one single day? How come global emissions do not go down in spite
of a pandemic that put millions of people out of work? We all know too
well why. We have disrupted the eco-system we are part of. But what
do we do about it? Almost nothing. The incentives for individual change
are simply not there. This article discusses how such incentives can
be designed and eventually implemented.
A New Accounting &
The Kyoto Protocol from 1997, UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
from 2015 and the COP 21 Paris Agreement from 2016 are all based on
Governments' commitments to reduce national emissions. Commitments that
in the end nobody could (or wanted to) live up to. Now, as described
in CoA's lead article from June 2021 (titled For the EU's 'Green Deal'
to succeed, economic theory must take into account qualitative growth)
the authors, referring to EU, argue that (quote):
Under the Green Deal's
ecological constraints, economic growth can be achieved by increasing
the quality of products and services - but only if it's taken into
account. Qualitative growth is essentially a process of increasing
information and complexity of an economy without use of natural resources.
] Under such constraints, firms will find it difficult to grow
in the classical sense by manufacturing more products. They must therefore
seek to innovate and create products of higher quality and, ultimately,
complexity. Simply put, firms will create information and complexity
- for example, the aesthetic dimension of artifacts, including buildings
and cities, art, culture, health care and medicine, food, intelligent
travel. It will be the creative effort of firms and governments that
will produce qualitative growth."
Sounds intelligent enough.
But how can it be achieved? Even if a governing body like the EU suggests
it should be like that, what will actually change the behaviour of actors?
Can simply requesting millions of independent actors to change behaviour
really turn the collective tide? What if just one actor fails to comply?
Will it matter? How many must comply in order to make it work? And how
can that critical mass be made to comply? In their article the authors
suggest that EU's answer be a new way of measuring growth (ibid).
If economic theory
fails to understand quality and to promote its measurement, then it
will lose its role in supporting decision-making. Major efforts for
arriving at a sustainable economy will be frustrated by naively, and
falsely, concluding that an otherwise flourishing, highly qualitative
economy be in recession. If we want to achieve sustainable growth
under the constraint that consumption is independent from the use
of natural resources, we should move along the path of qualitative
growth. This implies that quality improvement be considered genuine
growth. If economics has to play a role in supporting decision-making,
it must understand qualitative development and be able to measure
But how can such measurements
be scaled down from aggregate to individual actors' level. No one makes
up an aggregate by themselves. Everybody does. So why should I contribute
at my own peril if nobody else does? It will not make any difference
on the aggregated level anyway. No, if we are to see a wave of behavioural
change, we must first see a wave of new incentives promoting such behavioural
change. Any one's individual effort shall be worthwhile, even if nobody
else makes any. Then everybody will rush to be the first to change,
to 'profit' from the head-start they then will get.
This article is about how such incentives can be created.
On the link http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/accounting.html
we can read that:
[Accounting] is a
systematic process of identifying, recording, measuring, classifying,
verifying, summarizing, interpreting and communicating financial information.
It reveals profit or loss for a given period, and the value and nature
of a firm's assets, liabilities and owners' equity.
If 'quality' is now going
to be a decisive factor, quality must also matter to the individual's
bottom line. Our world is currently driven by quantity. If it shall
be driven by quality, we must measure and reward that on the individual
actor's level. But what a particular market claims to be quality (a
Rolls Royce?) may not be what society as a collective considers quality
(a train!). Most companies know how to put together, read, and analyse
Profit and Loss Accounts and Balance Sheets. And most individuals can
tell the difference between incomes, savings, and debts. So why not
use this format when creating the necessary incentives?
Profit and Loss Accounts
are, as we know them, part of what is called creative accounting. We
start from the back, i.e. how much or little profit we want to account
for, moving upwards in the P&L Account to balance the turnover we
have already recorded in our VAT-accounting records. The driving factors
are corporate tax and dividends.
The problem is that we
do not account for costs we generate but society at large carry for
us, like shortages of water, clean air, or a lack of prosperous futures
for people. Nor do we account for benefits we create that is not part
of our core business - such a employees' quality of life. So our P&L
Accounts are nothing but fiction. We all know that, but we expect nothing
else. All our incentives are built around this line of thinking, so
no individual measures will make anything but a small dent in our collective
behaviour. Our current incentives actually work against the necessary
It is important to put
this issue in context. Taxation (and its underlying number-crunching
we call accounting), is often treated as a stand-alone topic. It is
often taken for granted that accounting and taxation are already finally
and ultimately defined components of society and life; that the roles
they play are given and that the only thing experts need to do is to
refine them to become even more efficient instruments within the scope
of these already defined roles.
Accounting as a precondition
Since accounting intends
to carefully and meticulously record all the in- and output variables
generated by the production and sale of goods and services, in turn
being the ultimate cornerstone for taxation, is corporate accounting
equally important to the enterprise's owners (using it to understand
how to maximise profits) as to the state (using it to calculate tax
revenues for the common good of the general public). Without corporate
accounting the state would not only be unable to levy corporate taxes,
it would also not be able to levy income taxes on individuals, since
nobody would know how much each individual earned.
In other words: Without
corporate accounting there can be no modern-day taxation; Without taxation
there can be no common good; Without common good there can be no society.
But - and that is what this paper is all about - what are we actually
recording in our accounting processes, and what are we actually levied
taxes for consuming or doing - and why?
Most of you reading this
article probably know what is included in both the Profit and Loss Account
and the Balance Sheet, them being the core documents in the world of
accounting. For those who do not, I can sum it up as follows: the Profit
and Loss Account summarises the monies we pay for those items and resources
we use in the production process, and those monies we receive for selling
the end-products, while the Balance Sheet records the assessed value
of the physical and financial capital that we use in the production
process. It is here important to recognise that we talk about monies
paid or received, and values assessed. Resources used but not paid for
(e.g. clean air), output for which we do not get paid (e.g. waste) and
values never assessed in monetary terms (e.g. happiness), are not included.
The level of sophistication
in terms of how to specify these monies (i.e. costs and revenues) and
capital (i.e. assets and liabilities), has step-by-step increased to
a point where lay people can no longer understand such documents. It
has been elevated to a science in its own right.
National accounting, being
the flipside of this coin - supposedly reporting on how tax revenues
(for which corporate accounting serves as a revenue-calculator) are
being used - applies a very different structure. In the state's Profit
and Loss Account are revenues not linked to the items for which the
costs are reported. Likewise are assets and liabilities in the national
Balance Sheet not well specified - but primarily reported as either
financial or non-financial. This means that corporate accounting and
national accounting are not comparable on anything but aggregated levels.
Once again, the state incorrectly assumes that aggregated data and collective
supervision shall entice the individual actor. This is why tax planning
is such a common by-product of accounting. But with a new taxation paradigm,
blockchain accounting and smart contracts, there could be a way to change
A new taxation paradigm
This paper takes the 2008 version of the Standard National Accounts
(SNA 2008) outlines for the national account's Balance Sheet as a key
reference-format but draws specifically on its EU-developed application
called ESA 2010. However, the overhaul of the accounting frame-work
- and hence basis for taxation - suggested in this article aims at recording
all the resources that corporate and/or institutional (and if/when possible,
also individual) activities consume or value; whether paid for or not,
whether currently assessed in monetary value or not. This, therefore,
includes not only the resources procured through different markets,
but also resources obtained from the commons, for which no payments
are made in spite of the fact that its consumption reduces (to a smaller
or larger extent) others' opportunity to consume the same resources.
The only institutional level where such resources can be accounted for
prior to its allocation and subsequent consumption is the national level.
If the national account's Balance Sheet record such assets, its consumption
by any member of the society - whether corporate, institutional, or
private - that reduces this nationally accounted for stock (or increases
the communal costs for maintaining it), a consumption tax can be levied
that corresponds to the state's opportunity cost for the consumed part
of the stock. This would mean that taxes could be based on the corporate
/ institutional consumption of society's common stock of assets, rather
than on the value-added profit the resource-consumer can achieve through
its internal processes.
This approach would have several consequences. One is that the state
could vary taxes to match the actual opportunity cost of the resource
in question, where (e.g.) renewable resources could get a lower tax-rate
than non-renewable ones, driving users to opt for renewable ones in
their internal strive for a higher added value (i.e. profit), which
(under such a model) is not taxed at all. Another consequence is that
tax-rates could, over time, be officially and hence predictably phased
up or down, allowing users to focus their R&D on such areas where
tax benefits will result, allowing the state to motivate rather than
force (e.g.) an environmental agenda.
Furthermore, by defining human resources as yet another asset accounted
for in the national account's Balance Sheet, it will also be possible
to motivate corporate and institutional users to make best possible
use of society's human resources, avoiding over- or under-consumption
of human capital, as understood from social and health perspectives,
as well as (but not only) from (corporate / institutional) productivity
Using resource-consumption taxes to motivate resource-consumers to make
best possible use of common resources, including human resources, rather
than the state focusing on taxing corporate added value (profits) and
private incomes, would allow the state to drive consumption towards
what is 'lean and clean'. With lean and clean consumption, the state
can spend less on preventive action, control, and corrective measures,
saving money and hence keep taxes down. Doing this will nevertheless
require a different accounting paradigm - one where corporate accounting
is directly linked to national accounting. The technical solution to
this link may very well be blockchain accounting, whereby smart contracts
trigger the tax-charge in question.
So far has all this been a purely theoretical discussion. Below I will
look at some potential uses and consequences of this. I will use the
Balance Sheet structure of the SNA (Standard National Accounting) from
2008 and the ESA (European System of National and Regional Accounts)
from 2010 as my starting point - to which I will link (theoretical)
revisions to corporate accounting structures.
SNA 2008 and ESA 2010
In both the SNA and the
ESA the Balance Sheet records incoming balances, changes, and outgoing
balances, either for a type of economic activity (production, household-
or government consumption, or capital formation), or for a given sector
of the economy. A parallel set of documents, called the Asset Accounts,
sorts incoming balances, changes and outgoing balances for individual
assets and liabilities per type in the economy as a whole rather than
by sector or activity.
Although SNA 2008's Balance
Sheet is designed, and hence meant, to enable the display and analysis
of stocks and asset-changes on multiple levels of each economic sector
(all the way down to the individual institution if needed), the overall
sector-division lists only five groups; (a) non-financial corporations,
(b) financial corporations, (c) government units, including social security
funds, (d) non-profit institutions serving households and (e) households.
It furthermore registers assets and liabilities vis-à-vis 'the
rest of the world', i.e. institutions and governments in other countries.
As is clear from this,
such balance sheets are meant to measure changes, where ingoing balances
plus / minus changes equal outgoing balances. This is what would allow
for taxation driven by resource-consumption, rather than by added value
in a corporate or institutional process, and/or private incomes. It
is not this paper's ambition to suggest which assets and liabilities
shall be taxed, nor with how much, but I will use the first group (non-financial
assets) to make examples and suggest how this approach could be elaborated
The key to this is to link
corporate accounting to SNA (ESA) in a way so that corporate and institutional
entities' use of resources listed in the national account's Balance
Sheet is reflected also in that corporation's / institution's internal
accounts, automatically debiting that corporate / institutional entity
a tax based on the specific tax-rate assigned for that particular resource.
In some cases, such specific taxes may also be negative, i.e. a credit
rather than a debit being assigned to the corporate / institutional
unit in question if/when positive changes are recorded in the national
account's Balance Sheet - assuming the government in question has already
agreed to give such tax credits. Examples of this could be certain training
of staff or staff-to-be, planting of trees or the restoration of natural
habitats, or the like, which in turn presumes that such assets (i.e.
human resources and/or natural habitats) are also included in the national
account's Balance Sheet. The inclusion of human resources in the national
account's Balance Sheet is here (as we will see below) considered a
key to more social and ecologically efficient governance of our societies.
Let me use two areas of
resource-consumption to illustrate this: underground resources and human
resources. It shall be noted that these examples are meant to show how
the link between corporate and national accounting can work, not give
details for how they shall work.
Let me start with underground resources. Here we would typically include
minerals, oil and gas, but we also know that soil, clay and sand are
mined for both commercial use, such as (e.g.) producing building materials,
and public use, such as (e.g.) building flood defences. Over time has
the allocation of underground water - in spite of being renewable through
its ecological cycle - also proved critical. Concessions given to private
companies to extract large volumes of underground water, bottle it and
sell it, reduces local populations' possibility to drill for water.
Water, previously seen as a public commodity, is now increasingly turned
private, in return for a rent or lease paid to the state - of which
those local communities affected may not receive anything at all to
compensate for the costs inflicted upon them for having to buy water
from the very same source they previously could access through a public
well or system of taps.
For this kind of resources, two types of taxes can be considered. One
is an allocation tax, meaning that the act of allocating (through a
sale, lease- or rental-agreement) of an underground resource should
activate a tax. This tax should then be set to match society's cost
for not having this resource available for future public use. This should
not be a one-time tax, as that simply would be a different name for
a transaction fee, but a percentage of the common value of the allocated
asset per agreed time-interval. In other words - a tax on the general
public's assessed cost for not having access to this asset any longer.
If the value of the asset increases over time, the actual tax amount
will also increase; if the value of the asset decreases over time, the
actual tax amount will also decrease. The end-date of levying this allocation
tax would also need to be set as a part of the tax rate itself, and
it could without doubt be levied well beyond the exhaustion of the resource
itself, since this tax is meant to compensate the general public for
the resource's non-availability, not for its use per se.
This type of allocation tax requires the national accounts to value
the asset independently of the commercial value set by the corporation,
to which the asset is being allocated. If we here (although other account-structures
may prove more useful for the purpose) assume the same structure was
being used by the corporation / institution to which the resource was
allocated, an account in the corporate balance sheet equivalent
to the one in the national accounts would be required. The use of this
account can be enforced by the state through a blockchain accounting
mechanism, and the tax-charge itself triggered by a smart contract.
As many (most) countries do not (yet) keep inventory of such not yet
allocated resources, such an inventory would need to be undertaken on
a grander scale to assess each nations' asset value from this type of
resource perspective. Although this is not a small task to complete,
it would make those countries rich in natural resources, but poor on
revenue, boost its recognised wealth via a strong balance sheet in lieu
of a strong P&L Account. This would increase transparency, and hence
reduce corrupt use of national resources by powerful and vested interests
- a curse many resource-rich countries suffer.
This tax would not replace the lease or fee, but allow the state, as
a representative of its citizens, to compensate also future generations
for the loss of the resource, in this case underground non-renewable
minerals, oil, gas, water, clay, sand, etc. The difference between the
tax and the lease or fee is that the tax is set by law, be unrelated
to the extraction, and be based on its worth as assessed from a 'commons'
perspective, as well as being non-negotiable - while a lease or fee
is set through negotiations and is based on its worth as assessed by
the corporate / institutional entity to which it is meant to be allocated.
The terms and conditions upon which the allocation is made legally possible
will therefore affect the allocation tax level, making the correct entry
into both the national and corporate accounts necessary. Without a case-sensitive
and properly audited book-keeping will this kind of system fail and
become a victim of corruption. Blockchain accounting will help ensure
abuse is kept at a minimum.
The intended beauty of this approach is that the tax is levied on the
resource's value set by the state as a representative of its citizens,
not based on a complicated calculation of profit, or added value, in
which an array of factors is included - of which only the tax subject
has full knowledge and control. In return will, under this system, the
value added (i.e. profit) during the production process not be taxed,
making skill-based competition more attractive than creative accounting.
The allocation tax is nevertheless likely to be relatively low, as it
only intends to compensate the general public for not having common
public access to the resource - not to compensate the general public
for the depletion of the non-renewable resource. Compensation for the
depletion, i.e. the final loss, of the non-renewable resource, will
be a different depletion tax - levied as and when the allocated resource
is consumed in the production-cycle for which it was booked. This will,
once again, require both case-sensitive and properly audited entries
in both the national and corporate accounts, again presumed to be ensured
by a blockchain accounting mechanism, making it possible to institute
tax charges that are automatically booked - and eventually also automatically
paid - once the system recognises that the allocated resource has been
If tax is levied on the initial resource allocation, and the eventual
resource retrieval (depletion), will profit taxes not be required. It
will now be up to the corporation to make the most profitable use of
the resources it already paid the commons for. As suggested above will
resource-lean, skill-based competition now become the key to success.
Let me move on to another example of resource (out of many) that would
need to be reconsidered under this approach. The human resource.
Human resources are in fact a type of resource that costs society more,
the less it is being used. A country with an unemployment-rate of 2%
is far better off than one with a 20% rate. One problem here is of course
how to measure unemployment. In countries where only those who are officially
registered as jobseekers are considered unemployed, is the un-recorded
numbers likely to be significant. Many better-off societies offer alternatives
for those unemployed, where individuals become eligible for social security
benefits (including re-education or training paid for by the state,
temporary jobs subsidised or paid for by the state, medical leave or
early retirement). Here unemployment numbers are often far higher, and
state-funded benefits hence far costlier, than official numbers suggest.
If all basically fit individuals bankrolled by the state because they
cannot find a demand-driven employment (whether in the private or public
sector) were to be considered unemployed, were numbers likely to be
significantly higher than those officially published.
It is also important to recognise the difference between the financial
cost of unemployment and the social cost for unemployment. The social
costs include stigma, exclusion, depression, social unrest, criminality
and drug-abuse, some of this directly reflected in the state's financials,
some only indirectly. But the higher the level of automation and digitalisation
of 'industries' (from steel to music), the higher the need for (state-funded
other otherwise subsidised) education in order to meet job requirements.
And the higher the wage- and income taxes are (currently being one important
source of income for the state to help pay for e.g. education), the
higher the employers' costs for human resources, and the higher their
desire to automate, digitalise or simply move production to low-cost
countries. And the higher the unemployment, whether official jobseekers
or otherwise, the higher the state's costs. Both financial and social.
Taxes alone finance unemployment benefits. The higher the unemployment,
the larger the need for governments to collect taxes from other tax
subjects than the individual wage-earner. The greater the need to collect
taxes from the corporate / institutional sector the larger the tax-burden
for employers. The heavier the tax-burden for employers related to human
resources (wage- and income-taxes), the greater the incentive to automate,
digitalise or simply move production to low-cost countries. How can
this vicious circle be broken?
Assume employers did not pay wage taxes, and employees did not pay income
taxes. Assume employers were incentivised to employ people instead of
laying them off. Assume a system that made human resources of all types
a profitable resource. Then unemployment would mainly be transitional,
where people opted for temporary stints of unemployment if/when transferring
from one employer to another. Or when they retired. How could a reformed
tax system help this happen?
The key to this must be sought in the way the costs for human resources
match against other costs of production. As long as 'machines', and
to them related running costs, are cheaper per output than humans, will
'machines' be the preferred option. So why are humans taxed up to 100%
of their net salary-cost (wage- and income taxes combined), while machines
are not only not directly taxed for producing output, but even depreciated
- meaning they reduce the net tax that the corporation / institution
will have to pay? Assume the tables were turned, and the 'machines'
were taxed by hour of operation - while humans were not - and humans
were depreciated annually with a fraction of their annual salary cost
- while 'machines' were not.
Now employers would only pay the actual cost for staff, i.e. their salary
and other benefits agreed, while paying tax in addition to running costs
for operating non-human capital, non-financial resources (i.e. 'machines').
Here would - nevertheless - differentiated tax-rates be required, where
non-human capital resources that are difficult or more dangerous to
substitute with human resources (e.g. in underground mining) carry a
lower tax-rate than those where human resources more easily can replace
'machines' (e.g. throughout the service industry).
By booking non-human, non-financial capital ('machines') in a corporate
account linked to and mirrored by the national account's equivalent,
a machine-operating tax can be levied based on a formula between the
machine-investment and its physical output - possibly measured in fractions
of annual design capacity (e.g. 50.000 tons of paper or 1.000 GB of
computing power), fractions of operating lifetime (e.g. 1 -10 years)
or actual output (e.g. 1 MWh). In return for being levied such taxes
shall employers not be charged wage taxes, and employees not be charged
income taxes. This will make human resources cost approximately half
of what they cost today, while the use of non-human, non-financial resources
('machines') will cost much more to use than they do today.
Employing people will hereby become far more economically viable than
it is today, reducing the urge to replace staff with machines and computers
in the hunt for higher profits (or simply lower running costs). The
above indicated national account's Balance Sheet-account recording the
asset in question, could then be used to calculate this operating tax,
triggered by a smart contract. Auditors could make annual or semi-annual
revisions of a corporation's 'machine-operating' tax base, ensuring
the tax levied is in accordance with the tax code.
To make corporations / institutions interested in retaining staff also
when they grow older, i.e. value 'experience' on par with 'youthful
energy', can a human-resource depreciation factor also be introduced,
allowing the employer to deduct from its annual tax bill an amount based
on how much salary they paid employees over a certain age, and/or over
a certain number of years of service.
Although this shift from wage-/income taxes to 'machine/computer'-operating
taxes would need serious consideration as how it in that case could
and should be designed and introduced, the intention here is simply
to raise the issue. We are so used to think in terms of wage- and income
taxes for human capital and depreciation for non-human, non-financial
capital, so we do not even question it. I argue it indeed is time to
question it, as a society where underutilisation of human capital is
looming. Whether it is because of international competition or because
of a technology-shift leaving scores of inadequately trained people
jobless it is a recipe for social problems, criminality, and social
The overall usefulness of keeping staff on the payrolls can however
best be recognised if the national accounts start accounting for its
citizens in asset terms. It is actually quite obvious; no people, no
society, no state. So, a fundamental resource for any nation-state is
its population. Each citizen would therefore need to be assigned a standard-value
in the national accounts. Starting out from that (accumulated) citizen-value,
additional value should be added for each level of education s/he passed
(based on accrued rather than individual data), while the value would
decrease based on factors as unemployment, long-term illness, retirement,
etc. Hereby could e.g. collectives of unemployed people attending training
balance the accrued value of this collective-in-training, as participating
in training (no matter who is paying) could add equally much to the
nation's asset value as their unemployment reduces it. And just as decreases
in long-term sick-listings would increase the nation's asset value,
could immigration do the same (i.e. more people). If the national accounts
booked these HR-assets could investments in human resources made by
the private as well as public corporate / institutional sector lead
to potential tax credits when certain HRD-objectives are fulfilled -
costs booked in their corporate accounts through blockchain accounting,
mirrored in the national accounts. To the employer this could be yet
another way to incentivise HRD-investments; to the nation-state this
would be a good way to boost its balance sheet, leading to better credit
ratings and possibly cheaper interest rates.
In case smart contracts are used to book tax-charges in corporate and
national balance sheets on a parallel, a mechanism must be established
to automatically register the resource consumed through e.g. the 'Internet
of Things'. For each asset-unit registered on the national accounts
that is extracted and consumed, a tax is levied through the activation
of a trigger in the smart contract, using code to secure the tax is
charged on a predefined time-basis, accruing the corporation's tax debt
and the state's tax claim in their respective balance sheets, settling
the tax on an equally predefined occasion (weekly, monthly, or quarterly)
through a direct debit. Unless a guaranteed balance between the corporation's
accounted debt and the state's accounted claim, achieved through the
blockchain code, a direct debit activated by a smart contract cannot
be applied. It shall once again be stressed that here the state can
use the tax level to encourage or discourage certain activities, but
that once the allocation and extraction/consumption tax is paid shall
no further taxes be levied on the corporation's profits from processing
and/or selling the resource in question (VAT being an exception).
If the resource consumed is in the form of public administration services,
a smart contract can be established between the corporation and each
authority providing services, which triggers a tax every time a service
is delivered, activating a booking of a claim in the authority's balance
sheet and a debt in the corporation's - again paid via direct debit
at in the contract already agreed intervals. These taxes can also be
promotional if policy so suggests, and even negative taxes can be booked
in the same manner - if / when such policy is agreed upon. In case of
lobbying, a tax can be charged by the hour the politician is engaged
in meetings with lobbyists, activated by the ministry's note-taking
It is important to note that these examples in no way intends to suggest
how a state shall bankroll its responsibilities. They simply intend
to demonstrate how to link corporate accounting to national accounting,
and how to use that link to move taxation away from todays' calculation-driven
and hence easily corruptible profit-based taxation, where endless checks
and balances still fail to capture the reality behind creative accounting,
and so many resources used still remain unaccounted for. By focusing
on the actual resources consumed in the process, including all those
previously unaccounted for, will a far more flexible and fair taxation
HCMC in August 2021
Leif Thomas Olsen
Leif is a former management- and management-training consultant turned
property investor. During this millennium he also dedicated around half
of his time to research on cross- / multicultural interaction, and its
socio-economic consequences. A Swede by birth he spent half his life
elsewhere and lived in South-East Asia since 1993. In 2005 he completed
a Master of Philosophy and a Master of International Relations.