The Birmingham Brief

Intelligent thought on policy issues.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Birmingham.

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Thursday 15th December 2016

Why do we love or hate Christmas?

Description
Christmas is a time of joy, celebration and love for many across the world. However, these feelings are not universally shared, and like a festive Marmite others find the obligatory decorations, mulled wine and mince pies a bit of a humbug! So, what might lead to such different opinions? We can perhaps provide an explanation based upon learned experiences that change how much we like and want something.
Date:
Thursday 15th December 2016
Thursday 8th December 2016

Why leadership matters

Description
In order to avoid the anxiety of wondering about the 'what ifs' in life, humans have a tendency to think that things will carry on much as they did before. It's what psychologists term 'continuity bias'. However, 2016 is testimony to the fact that this assumption is not always reflective of events. This year, 'change' was the watchword and changes in political leadership characterised 2016.
Date:
Thursday 8th December 2016
Thursday 1st December 2016

'All Past Times Were Worse': Remembering Fidel Castro

Description
Fidel Castro (1926–2016), was without doubt, one of the most forceful protagonists to erupt onto the global stage in the 20th century. Drama, charisma, audacity and defiant dynamism marked his emergence as a young leader, following his successful overthrow of the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, and his defence of the Revolution against its principal detractors for almost 60 years. The Cuban Revolution radically reshaped Cuban society, transforming the nation's geopolitical significance, and making it a vital broker in major global negotiations at key stages in the cold war and beyond.
Date:
Thursday 1st December 2016
Thursday 24th November 2016

Should universities be charged with opening or sponsoring schools?

Description
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has twice praised the University of Birmingham in recent months for what we have done in setting up our own fully comprehensive secondary school – the first of its kind in England. In fact, the Prime Minister has gone further, saying she wants to see other universities setting up schools or sponsoring existing underperforming ones.
Date:
Thursday 24th November 2016
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