'International law and global waste governance: the making and discarding of smartphones'
Professor Susan Marks and Dr Margot Salomon
international law, law and political economy, critical theory
Mikołaj holds an LLB from the University of Glasgow and an LLM from the London School of Economics. His doctoral research concerns the role of international law in the proliferation of waste and offers a retelling of how international legal instruments configure the waste footprint of smartphones. His thesis surveys a wide variety of international legal regimes (from international environmental law and regulations, through international economic law, to proposals on transition to circular economy that have international and global implications), and exposes the limits in understanding of smartphone waste footprint in each field. Overall, his thesis seeks to challenge the conventional portrayal of international law as prescribing standards for waste disposal, and proposes, instead, to understand waste as a problem of international economic governance. Rather than speaking exclusively of international law as regulating e-waste, Mikołaj’s project inquires about the generation of wasted livelihoods and wasted material resources in smartphones’ lifecycle, yielding a vision of international law as captive to ideas of disposability and wastefulness.
Between 2021 and 2023 Mikołaj taught on a variety of undergraduate law modules at LSE, including Jurisprudence, Introduction to the Legal System, Global Commodities Law, and International Law (summer school). He was also a tutor for the LLM dissertation module and he coached the LSE Jessup moot court team. Having completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education course, Mikołaj was admitted as a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy in September 2023.
His doctoral studies have been funded by the LSE Law School Studentship and Judge Rosalyn Higgins Scholarship. Mikołaj is also a recepient of the 2023-2024 Modern Law Review Scholarship.
In October 2023, Mikołaj was elected as the LSE Students’ Union Postgraduate Research Officer. He also serves as the student member of the LSE Research Degrees Sub-Committee. He welcomes any inquires from fellow postgraduate research students on issues related to representation or student experience.
– (co-authored), 'Law and the Problems of our Economies: a PhD reading group’, (2023) Ratio: The Magazine of LSE Law 28-29 [link]
– ‘Engaging Through Imaging’ (LSE PGCert Contemporary Issues in Teaching and Learning blog, 17 April 2023) [link]
– ‘Democracy in the University Estate’ (LSE PGCert Contemporary Issues in Teaching and Learning blog, 13 March 2023) [link]
– 'International law and global waste governance: the making and discarding of smartphones’, (2022) Ratio: The Magazine of LSE Law 18-19 [link]
– Book Review: Politics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society by Zeynep Pamuk, (LSE Review of Books, 25 February 2022) [link]
– ‘“Britain’s Project” problematised’ (medium.com, 21 March 2021) [link]