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Ed Balls pledges £30 billion to English regions – and that's not all

Ed Balls pledges £30 billion to English regions – and that's not all
Description
Written by Chris Game. Two noteworthy things happened in Milton Keynes on Monday morning. Ed Miliband chaired the first meeting of Labour's English Regional Shadow Cabinet – comprising mainly leaders of councils and combined authorities. And, as a curtain-raiser, shadow Chancellor Ed Balls announced that, if Labour forms the next government, it will transfer £30 billion-worth of funding for housing, transport, business support, employment and skills training to England's regions.
Date:
Thursday 5th February 2015

How stable is Saudi monarchy after King Abdullah's death?

How stable is Saudi monarchy after King Abdullah's death?
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. On 23 January, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died at the age of 90 and was succeeded by his half-brother Salman, 79, one of the last sons of Saudi Arabia's founder Ibn Saud. The regime is keeping a watchful eye on dissent, including in the mainly Shia Eastern Province, and on internal security amid concerns over returning fighters from conflicts such as the Syrian crisis.
Date:
Friday 30th January 2015

Podcast: EU as an international security actor

Podcast: EU as an international security actor
Description
The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) Departmental Seminar. Speaker: Adrian Hyde-Price (Gothenburg), Discussant: Derek Averre (POLSIS/CREES).
Date:
Friday 30th January 2015

Podcast: International Relations: All That Matters

Podcast: International Relations: All That Matters
Description
The talk introduced Professor Ken Booth's latest book, which seeks to provide an accessible but sophisticated understanding of international relations for those with no specialised knowledge of the field (which is almost everybody in the world).
Date:
Friday 30th January 2015

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq
Description
Written by Dr Christalla Yakinthou. Lebanon has always been a complicated jigsaw, but despite years of war, regional conflict, and meddling in its affairs, it has displayed a tremendous ability to absorb tension. But the threads that hold this fragile country together are rapidly starting to fray.
Date:
Wednesday 28th January 2015

Ukraine sliding towards all-out war despite mediation efforts

Ukraine sliding towards all-out war despite mediation efforts
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Over the past few days, Ukraine has taken a significant turn for the worse. Fighting between rebels and government forces has intensified, the civilian death toll has increased, and the war of words between Ukraine and Russia has further escalated.
Date:
Monday 26th January 2015

Why the fight against Islamic State is not the success we're told it is

Why the fight against Islamic State is not the success we're told it is
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. Ministers from 21 countries gathered in London on January 22 to discuss the fight against Islamic State (IS). They had their photo opportunity and issued their statements. US secretary of state, John Kerry, told them that almost 6,000 jihadists had been killed, and almost 700 square kilometres of Iraqi territory retaken.
Date:
Monday 26th January 2015

Oil crisis: can short-term pain lead to economic gain for Russia?

Oil crisis: can short-term pain lead to economic gain for Russia?
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. The recent crash in oil prices is causing much anxiety in oil-producing states. From Iran to Venezuela, many have come to rely on elevated oil prices to fuel economic growth and support government spending.
Date:
Friday 23rd January 2015

Podcast: Ethnic minority political representation in Britain: the end of the Race Relations Paradigm?

Podcast: Ethnic minority political representation in Britain: the end of the Race Relations Paradigm?
Description
The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) Departmental Seminar. Speaker: Maria Sobolewska (Manchester), Respondant: Dr Chris Allen (University of Birmingham.
Date:
Thursday 22nd January 2015

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?
Description
Written by Max Lempriere, Third year PhD student in POLSIS. National planning policy and building regulations have undergone considerable reform in recent years. The latest incarnation is embodied in the Housing Standards Review, (HSR) published in 2014. The HSR sought to consolidate the plethora of standards into national building regulations whilst making it harder to local authorities (LAs) to introduce standards that supplement these national regulations in response to local needs or priorities. One area where local powers have been significantly curtailed by the HSR is in the sustainability and energy efficiency of homes.
Date:
Wednesday 21st January 2015

Podcast: Trust, technology and salvation: An investigation of President Reagan's nuclear speech

Podcast: Trust, technology and salvation: An investigation of President Reagan's nuclear speech
Description
Laura Considine is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Leeds. She received her PhD in International Politics from Aberystwyth University in 2014 and was a John W. Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress in Washington DC in 2011.
Date:
Wednesday 21st January 2015

Obama's National Security Strategy: Predicting US Policy in the Context of Changing Worldviews

Obama's National Security Strategy: Predicting US Policy in the Context of Changing Worldviews
Description
While the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a good predictor of an administration's policy, its declared strategic priorities are necessarily tempered by external reality, writes Dr Adam Quinn in a recent paper published by Chatam House.
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

Is Chechnya facing wave of jihadist violence?

Is Chechnya facing wave of jihadist violence?
Description
On 19 December 2014 BBC Europe News published an article by Dr Galina Yemelianova on recent Chechen bombing.
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

Blog: Playwright, Prisoner and President: the Life of Vaclav Havel

Blog: Playwright, Prisoner and President: the Life of Vaclav Havel
Description
Written by Dr Tim Haughton, A review of Michael Zantovsky, Havel: a Life, London: Atlantic Books (2014). You only really appreciate someone when they have left. The death of Vaclav Havel in December 2011 provoked a week of mourning, warm and generous words from his political foes, and for many 'perhaps a rediscovery' of the man who had played so many different roles in his life: playwright, political prisoner and president (p. 14).
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

Research video: Dr Tim Haughton

Research video: Dr Tim Haughton
Description
Dr Tim Haughton is a political scientist with a particular interest in electoral and party politics, the relationship between politics and government, the interaction between domestic and European sources of change, the relationship between Britain and the EU, the role of the past in the politics of the present and the domestic politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Corporeal Capitalism: The Body in International Political Economy

Corporeal Capitalism: The Body in International Political Economy
Description
New special section of the journal 'Global Society' on body politics in the global economy edited by University of Birmingham Senior Lecturer.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Former Student Becomes Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister

Former Student Becomes Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister
Description
Former PhD Student Odeta Barbullushi has been appointed Albania's new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers
Description
Written by Chris Game. All university admissions tutors know about single-termers. They are those students – some badly advised and intellectually bewildered, others more devious – who decide around mid-November that they want to change degrees, study elsewhere or just drop out. They're a pain, but higher education is a complex world and, after all, they are young. MPs, you might suppose, would be different. But in this parliament anyway, you'd be dead wrong.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch adds Paris attacks to list of successes

Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch adds Paris attacks to list of successes
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Al-Qaeda's most active and notorious branch – the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – has claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. While some questions remain about the full credibility of the claim, it is not entirely implausible: it's been established that some of the attackers had been trained in Yemen, and at least one of them had met AQAP's former chief ideologue, Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born jihadist killed in a US drone strike in 2011.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. The deadly attack on a bus carrying civilians near Donetsk, killing at least 12 of them and wounding many more, comes in the wake of yet another round of failed talks among the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. It also follows a pattern of persistent violence between rebels and government forces that has made a mockery of a ceasefire agreement brokered between the two sides back in September 2014.
Date:
Thursday 15th January 2015
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