, I think this will be an excellent opportunity, given your interests in socio-economic theory as well as history & historiography. Certainly it will be a much-needed widening of the field of this franchise property to encompass more properly the early Federation.
I must ask are you feeling it is a good chance to re-introduce the (oft-maligned) characters of Enterprise? Or are you glad to have many more potential characters in your sandbox?
Also with 'exploration' being one of your points, will the novel include still lots of science, or after having done several 'harder sf' novels, will this be more the subtle idea of social and political difference like in your Typhon Pact novella?