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 5th January 2017

Is the humble fridge the key to meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals?

Description
The clock is ticking on the most ambitious set of international development targets ever conceived. By 2030, the UN's Global Development Goals ('Global Goals') promise to banish hunger, poverty and inequality; ensure universal access to safe water, education, health care, clean energy and decent work; and secure peace, justice, economic growth and sustainability. Achieving all this and in the timeframe set will be a monumental challenge. What is not yet widely recognised is that one critical factor will be the development of clean cooling.
Date:
Thursday 5th January 2017
Thursday 27th October 2016

Children and War

Description
A child washed up on the shores of Turkey after drowning at sea; the images of youngsters climbing across fences of barbed wires on Lampedusa; a boy sitting dazed and bloodied in the back of an ambulance after surviving an airstrike in Syria – these are some of the images that, once seen, can never be unseen. The moments, captured in these images pass, but the cycles of displacement continue.
Date:
Thursday 27th October 2016
Thursday 25th August 2016

What does a rise in the minimum wage mean for the Mexican labour market?

Description
The idea of a minimum working wage has been a controversial topic within economics for many years. The basic goal of establishing a minimum level of earnings is to ensure that independently of the job performed, all workers can earn a salary that is high enough to satisfy their basic needs.
Date:
Thursday 25th August 2016
Thursday 28th July 2016

What did Europe mean to William Shakespeare?

Description
Shortly after the news of the referendum result, I heard some English politicians being interviewed on BBC radio. One of them remarked with apparent satisfaction that membership of the European Union had now been rejected by a majority of 'our countrymen.' Another, a woman, observed that the entire referendum campaign had been a very masculine affair, and pointed to her adversary's telling use of the word 'countrymen.' 'I'm sorry,' he replied, 'I have been reading the works of our national poet, and it must have affected my vocabulary.'
Date:
Thursday 28th July 2016
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