Before entering the academy, I worked for fifteen years in the private sector, including a period running my family’s (very) small business. As a result, I had extensive experience of the ways in which diverse forms of evidence and analysis inform any practical decision. These experiences stayed with me as I pursued my PhD studies at Nottingham Trent University, worked for eight years at University of the West of England and then became a Professor at Lancaster University. My earlier work focused on the political economy of intellectual property rights (IPR), while my current project concentrates on the (not un-related) questions of how and why the rule of law seems to have become the ‘common sense’ of global politics. Despite the differences in these projects, my method has remained the same.