News 

Keep up to date with the latest news and events from around the department and the wide-ranging projects our staff and students get involved with.
More news throughout the School of Government and Society

Latest news

Blog: Can smart maps improve local government?

Blog: Can smart maps improve local government?
Description
Written by Walter T. de Vries. Local governments are increasingly making use of internet-based applications and social media to provide services and to interact with citizens. Are these applications however really helping local governments?
Date:
Wednesday 8th October 2014

Blog: Cinderella has been at the ball for more than a century and no one has noticed her!

Blog: Cinderella has been at the ball for more than a century and no one has noticed her!
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. Local government has struggled with the concept of localism for far longer than most of us might think. It has not just been the clarion call of localism from the Coalition Government since 2010 and the subsequence Localism Act that posed some pretty serious questions about the structure of our local democratic processes. The issue of connectivity between the citizen and the 'agent of the state' has been under academic scrutiny for a long time.
Date:
Tuesday 7th October 2014

Blog: Buying local votes? Campaign spending effects in Belgian local elections

Blog: Buying local votes? Campaign spending effects in Belgian local elections
Description
Written by Gert-Jan Put, Bart Maddens and Jef Smulders. In democratic countries worldwide, elections are being organized on an increasingly larger scale. This makes it more challenging for political parties and candidates to communicate with voters and reach their target groups. Alternatively, they resort to mass media and costly electoral campaigns, for which parties and candidates are often prepared to spend exorbitant amounts of money.
Date:
Monday 6th October 2014

Why Brooks Newmark is a twit, but not a knit-wit

Why Brooks Newmark is a twit, but not a knit-wit
Description
Written by Chris Game. Two topics now compete for the opening paragraph in MP Brooks Newmark's political obituary. One is of course his hubris in thinking that a 26-year old woman – be she Tory or not – would be interested in photos of his genitalia. The other, though, are his thoughts, as the short-lived minister for civil society, about charities and knitting.
Date:
Thursday 2nd October 2014

Blog: Local government: keepers of the moral compass?

Blog: Local government: keepers of the moral compass?
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. Barry Quirk's excellent article in the Local Government Chronicle highlighted the often overlooked role of local government as the guardian of pubic ethics.
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 2014

Research project: Evaluation of Community Organisers and Community First programmes (Nov 2012 - Feb 2015)

Research project: Evaluation of Community Organisers and Community First programmes (Nov 2012 - Feb 2015)
Description
The evaluation will assess the delivery and social impact of both programmes, providing continuous learning and relevant insights for programme development.
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 2014

Research project: Translation across borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process (Jan 2014 - Mar 2015)

Research project: Translation across borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process (Jan 2014 - Mar 2015)
Description
This project seeks to explore and suggest ways to address the frustrations which attempts to translate research into policy can bring. A focus of concern for academics is the fidelity of translation to their research findings. For policy-makers, the focus is often the function of the translation for the demands they are seeking to address.
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 2014

Blog: Local government - more appreciated than it often thinks

Blog: Local government - more appreciated than it often thinks
Description
Written by Chris Game. Someone asked me recently if, in those opinion polls that regularly monitor these things, net satisfaction with the government's record was ever positive. In other words, are there ever nowadays more of us satisfied than dissatisfied with those who govern us, or have we become, on balance, a nation of malcontents, whoever we happen to have elected?
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 2014

Blog: What skills does a 21st Century fire service need?

Blog: What skills does a 21st Century fire service need?
Description
Written by Dave Cross. Over the past twenty years the fire service, like many other public sector agencies has undergone radical change. Whilst the public's expectation of the fire service as a response based fire and rescue service remains the same, the organisational expectations of fire fighters has increased markedly. To quote a senior Greater Manchester fire officer "The job of a fire fighter nowadays has changed from not just putting out fires… to almost being a semi social worker".
Date:
Friday 26th September 2014

Blog: Devo max - what it is and why it won't happen

Blog: Devo max - what it is and why it won't happen
Description
Written by Chris Game. Devo Max – it sounds like a 99% efficient toilet cleaner, or a dodgy West Country car dealer, but either way I visualise its initials in upper case. And that's its problem. It's undoubtedly the 'must use' expression of the month. It's not complicated, like 'full fiscal autonomy' or the Barnett formula, so anyone feels able to drop it authoritatively into even casual conversation. And everyone has their own idea of what it is.
Date:
Thursday 25th September 2014

Postgraduate Open Day - Wednesday 03 December 2014

Postgraduate Open Day - Wednesday 03 December 2014
Description
The postgraduate open day gives you the opportunity to talk to our experts and find out more about the wide portfolio of taught and research opportunities available to you at the University of Birmingham. Whatever stage you are at with your career, a visit to the open day will clarify your options and help you plan your next step.
Date:
Tuesday 23rd September 2014

Ban pre-election opinion polls at your peril

Ban pre-election opinion polls at your peril
Description
Written by Chris Game. I really thought we might make it. We'd got past the publication of YouGov's potentially constitution-changing poll showing a minuscule lead for the Yes campaign without anyone grabbing for an easy headline by calling for opinion polls to be banned in the run-up to elections and referendums.
Date:
Thursday 18th September 2014

Scotland vote appears to be defying usual referendum swing

Scotland vote appears to be defying usual referendum swing
Description
Written by Chris Game. It seems Scottish voters are warming to the whole independence idea, then – bucking the trend that the experts have been telling us for months they're almost bound to follow.
Date:
Monday 15th September 2014

New students 2014/15
Description
The staff at the School of Government and Society look forward to meeting all new students for the start of the 2014/15 academic year. All the information you'll need for starting at the University of Birmingham can be found on our Welcome homepage.
Date:
Friday 12th September 2014

Blog: In case you missed it: the Local Government (Independence) Bill

Blog: In case you missed it: the Local Government (Independence) Bill
Description
Written by Chris Game. It was partly the timing. In combination, the suddenly increased likelihood of both Scottish independence and a Coalition break-up were bound to eclipse last Friday's scheduled Second Reading of the Local Government (Independence) Bill. It was unfortunate, though. After all, local government independence would be a pretty big deal too, wouldn't it?
Date:
Tuesday 9th September 2014

Student Enhancement Fund profiles 2014

Student Enhancement Fund profiles 2014
Description
Find out how our undergraduate and postgraduate students have used the School of Government and Society student enhancement fund throughout 2013/14 and read about their experiences.
Date:
Thursday 4th September 2014

Blog: Councils should have the power NOT to tax supermarkets

Blog: Councils should have the power NOT to tax supermarkets
Description
Written by Chris Game. There's no shortage of reasons to dislike supermarkets generally and Tesco in particular – their flimsy carrier bags, their irritating BOGOFs and BOGOHOs (Buy One, Get One Half Off), their unpoliced disabled parking bays, their Everyday Value instant coffee granules. Then there are all the economic, environmental and social reasons – the ones understandably more emphasised in Derby City Council's recent proposal that local authorities be given the power to introduce a levy of 8.5% of rateable value on large retail outlets: a supermarket or Tesco tax, as it was instantly labelled by the media.
Date:
Monday 1st September 2014

Douglas Carswell by-election is a rare and honourable event

Douglas Carswell by-election is a rare and honourable event
Description
Written by Chris Game. The least surprising part of Douglas Carswell's defection to UKIP was surely his decision to resign his Clacton seat and seek re-election in a by-election.
Date:
Friday 29th August 2014

If lauding Thatcher was cause to recall parliament, why not Iraq?

If lauding Thatcher was cause to recall parliament, why not Iraq?
Description
Written by Chris Game. MPs from all parties have called in recent weeks for parliament to be reconvened to enable them to debate the ongoing crisis in Iraq. They have met with unbending opposition. But David Cameron's decision to bring everyone back last year to eulogise Margaret Thatcher might make it difficult for him to resist indefinitely.
Date:
Thursday 21st August 2014

Masters taught module: Global Cooperation in Practice - Professor Mark Webber

Masters taught module: Global Cooperation in Practice - Professor Mark Webber
Description
This exciting taught module is offered as part of our new Global Cooperation and Security MSc. Taught by Professor Mark Webber Global Cooperation in Practice examines how academic debates on cooperation and policy-making stand up against the actual experience of implementation.
Date:
Monday 18th August 2014
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