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 26th January 2017

The imminent partition of Syria

Description
After nearly six years of uprising, conflict and chaos, the partition of Syria is imminent. President Bashar al-Assad will of course rail against it; his crucial ally Iran will probably resist too, and the marginalised US won't even acknowledge the prospect. But the lines are nonetheless being drawn.
Date:
Thursday 26th January 2017
Thursday 19th January 2017

Trump and Putin: How Special a Relationship?

Description
Time magazine's decision to make Donald Trump its 'Person of the Year' may have seemed like the ultimate no brainer in a year when we got rather used to expecting the unexpected. However, did the illustrious journal get it wrong? Instead could a case have been made for awarding this annual badge of prestige to Trump's counterpart in Moscow?
Date:
Thursday 19th January 2017
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
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