The Birmingham brief - intelligent thought on policy issues

birmingham-brief

The School of Government and Societies contribution to the Birmingham brief include:

Latest Birmingham briefs - intelligent thought on policy issues

Cuts to School Sport Partnerships: A Case of Ideology over Reason?

Description
The Coalition Government's proposal to cut £162 million funding for 450 school sports partnerships offers an intriguing case study of this era of new party politics and policy-making. Two points lend weight to the argument that this is a rushed decision made by an ill-informed minister, Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Date:
Friday 3rd December 2010

Aid and UK Security: what is the relationship?

Description
On 16th September Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State for International Development, made a speech about conflict and development at the Royal College of Defence Studies. In this speech he argued that as part of the government's Strategic Defence Security Review (SDSR) there should be a reassessment of the UK's response to overseas conflict which puts development at the heart of an integrated approach that both protects the world's most vulnerable people and protects the UK from external threats.
Date:
Thursday 30th September 2010

Does the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo's Declaration of Independence Resolve Anything?

Description
I always tell my students that, when sitting an exam, they have to answer the question that has been set rather than one that they feel comfortable with. No analogy is ever perfect, but this one sums up pretty neatly the outcome of the deliberations by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which, by ten votes to four, found that the Declaration of Independence (DoI) of Kosovo adopted on 17 February 2008 did not violate international law.
Date:
Tuesday 27th July 2010

Lessons from local government: Hung parliaments can work

Description
Following the third of the historic Prime Ministerial debates – staged, of course, here at the University of Birmingham – the possibility of the election producing a single-party Conservative majority government increased – though marginally – for the first time in weeks. Similarly, the likelihood of a less conclusive result reduced somewhat; presumably to the relief of those who have been predicting instability, legislative deadlock and parliamentary collapse as the probable outcomes of a hung parliament.
Date:
Sunday 30th May 2010

What is the future for UK aid policy?

Description
In a month of election campaigning the issue of international development and aid policy was barely referred to by any of the three major parties. So what will the new government mean for UK aid policy?
Date:
Thursday 20th May 2010

After New Labour

Description
Commentators are currently focused on the extraordinary Conservative-Liberal coalition, and whether it will deliver a 'new politics'. But the emerging contest over Labour's future may prove even more significant for the long-term shape of politics in Britain.
Date:
Tuesday 18th May 2010

A new political landscape an opportunity for a new approach to local government

Description
This week, the national political and policy landscape for the UK has changed, as demonstrated by the sight of David Cameron sharing a press conference podium with Nick Clegg. However, this changed political and policy landscape applies to UK Local Governance as well.
Date:
Friday 14th May 2010

A new generation of militants strikes with bombings in Russia

Description
Although no groups have as yet claimed responsibility for the two suicide attacks the Russian security services, the FSB, have indicated that groups linked to the North Caucasus may have been behind the bombings at the Lubyanka and Park Kultury metro stations in Moscow.
Date:
Tuesday 30th March 2010

A cautious Political budget with all the difficult decisions delayed

Description
The last Budget before the General Election shows that the Treasury and Prime Minister have not agreed on a comprehensive medium-term strategy to deal with the public finances. By not giving targeted and detailed cuts in spending, the Chancellor has left all the really difficult decisions until after the General Election. It is a cautious but modest political budget.
Date:
Wednesday 24th March 2010

Women, Religion and Attitudes Towards Corruption

Description
Since 1996, when the then World Bank president spoke out against the 'cancer of corruption', foreign aid donors and national governments in many developing countries have been trying to find workable solutions to often systemic problems with corruption. Corruption has been seen by many as one of the biggest challenges facing the developing world: reducing funds available for poverty reduction, increasing inequality, destroying or stultifying democratic institutions and, at worst, leading to conflict and global insecurity.
Date:
Thursday 11th March 2010
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Birmingham perspective:

Ariel Sharon dies at 85 after decades as polarising presence

Ariel Sharon dies at 85 after decades as polarising presence
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. "Described by Ronald Reagan as 'a bellicose man who seemed to be chomping at the bit to start a war' and by George W Bush as "a man of peace", few contemporary figures could match Sharon's talent for invoking such contradictory sentiments by two American presidents."
Date:
24/01/2014

Autumn Statement 2013 - Response

Autumn Statement 2013 - Response
Description
We asked six leading academics for their response to the government's Autumn Statement and the likely impact it could have on everything from taxes to local service provision, the high street to personal wealth.
Date:
10/12/2013

Autumn Statement 2013 - Expert Opinions

Autumn Statement 2013 - Expert Opinions
Description
We asked six leading academics for their expert opinions on this week's Autumn Statement and the likely impact it could have on everything from taxes to local service provision, the high street to personal wealth.
Date:
04/12/2013

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