Recent blog posts from around the School

Blog: Combined Authorities – Why Birmingham doesn't have a city region like Leeds

Blog: Combined Authorities – Why Birmingham doesn't have a city region like Leeds
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Cornwall leapfrogs West Midlands in devolution race" was the headline over one report of the Government's recent devolution deal with Cornwall Council, giving the county greater control over adult skills spending and regional investment, and, with the Isles of Scilly, the prospect of integrating health and social care services.
Date:
Friday 24th July 2015

Blog: Is a 120-member council really too big?

Blog: Is a 120-member council really too big?
Description
Written by Chris Game. "This blog's main purpose is to place somewhere in the public domain some basic electoral data on council size. Basic, but not normally presented in a form that I've sometimes wanted for illustrative purposes. I'm hoping, therefore, there may be others who'll find the data of at least passing interest, so here goes."
Date:
Thursday 16th July 2015

Blog: Do 'sticky' institutions always survive? The demise of the Audit Commission

Blog: Do 'sticky' institutions always survive? The demise of the Audit Commission
Description
Written by Katherine Tonkiss. "The Audit Commission played a central role in the audit, inspection, performance improvement and regulation of local authorities (and other public service providers) in England for over thirty years. Operating at arm's length from government, it thrived under the efficiency and performance improvement agendas of successive Conservative and Labour governments, growing into a large and powerful public body."
Date:
Wednesday 24th June 2015

Blog: Prizes for local government: Latin America or England?

Blog: Prizes for local government: Latin America or England?
Description
Written by Dr Andrew Nickson. Last week I was in Panama City to deliver the inaugural address at the 2nd Latin American seminar on good practices in municipal management. My topic was the challenges of sub-national governance in the region, after thirty years during which local political democracy has gradually become the norm, accompanied by a growing share of fiscal revenue devolved to local government.
Date:
Monday 22nd June 2015

Blog: Recall – right for councillors, right for mayors

Blog: Recall – right for councillors, right for mayors
Description
Written by Chris Game. "The topical, and certainly most agreeable, purpose of this blog is to applaud the appointment of illustrator, cartoonist and writer, Chris Riddell, as the ninth Children's Laureate. The enviably talented Riddell has been The Observer's political cartoonist for 20 years and is also a writer and multi-award-winning illustrator of children's books. But before any of that fame and fortune, he generously provided easily the most eye-catching half-page in an INLOGOV undergraduate degree recruitment brochure.
Date:
Friday 12th June 2015

Blog: Metro mayors: this time at least feels different from 2012

Blog: Metro mayors: this time at least feels different from 2012
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Despite what service users doubtless feel on occasions, things can move quite fast in local government."
Date:
Friday 5th June 2015

Blog: Central African Republic takes a small step towards peace – but a leap is what's needed

Blog: Central African Republic takes a small step towards peace – but a leap is what's needed
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. The signing of a major peace agreement by ten rebel groups in the Central African Republic is a welcome step towards peace after years of violent chaos.
Date:
Thursday 28th May 2015

Blog: As refugee crisis deepens, the world is losing patience with South Sudan

Blog: As refugee crisis deepens, the world is losing patience with South Sudan
Description
Written by Jonathan Fisher, lecturer in IDD. South Sudan has now been at war since 2013, with no end in sight. And while the two sides focus on defeating each other, the humanitarian situation on the ground is only deteriorating.
Date:
Thursday 28th May 2015

Blog: Do select committees deserve 'universal praise'?

Blog: Do select committees deserve 'universal praise'?
Description
In this post, Dr Stephen Bates and Dr Mark Goodwin argue that a more rounded evaluation of Select Committees is needed to assess whether they deserve 'universal praise'.
Date:
Friday 22nd May 2015

Blog: A new typology of local government systems

Blog: A new typology of local government systems
Description
Written by Pawel Swianiewicz. "Typologies of the European systems of local government are important and frequent point of reference for many scholars. But the trouble for scholars from my part of Europe is that the most popular classifications concentrate on Western part of the continent, totally disregarding the post-communist Central and Eastern Europe."
Date:
Friday 22nd May 2015

Blog: The Wedding of the Century: More Evidence of a Soft Exit for Chechnya?

Blog: The Wedding of the Century: More Evidence of a Soft Exit for Chechnya?
Description
By Karena Avedissian. In Chechnya, the wedding of a 17-year old girl and a middle-aged policeman has put centre-periphery relations and the growing divergence of regional arrangements in Chechnya and the rest of the Russian Federation in the spotlight.
Date:
Friday 22nd May 2015

Blog: A day for devolution

Blog: A day for devolution
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin. "The Cities Devolution Bill, with careful attention to principle as well as expediency and in the context of wider constitutional renewal, could just be the way to start to make that happen and help to address the wider devolution challenges which the UK faces following the General Election".
Date:
Friday 15th May 2015

Blog: The emergence of city regions

Blog: The emergence of city regions
Description
Written by Jon Bloomfield. The structures of sub-national government in the UK are about to undergo major change not just in Scotland but across the major conurbations. As George Osborne has said "In a modern, knowledge-based economy city size matters like never before."
Date:
Thursday 14th May 2015

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors
Description
Written by Chris Game. "You'd not have known it from the national media, either before Election Day or since, but the 650 parliamentary contests weren't the only ones taking place in the UK last Thursday. It was the year in local government's four-year election cycle that almost all English district and unitary councils – 279 of 293 – had elections, and there were votes too for six mayors, for many parish and town councils, plus the odd local referendum."
Date:
Tuesday 12th May 2015

Blog: The Ties that Bind: War, History and Power in and around Today's Russia

Blog: The Ties that Bind: War, History and Power in and around Today's Russia
Description
By Dr. Kevork Oskanian. It is difficult indeed to overstate the importance of victory day in Russia. In its solemnity, it is as close to a religious festival as any secular event could be. The Soviet Union was adept at filling the void left by its Marxist atheism with ritual and symbolism, and, more than on other days of the contemporary calendar, its imprint was still palpable on May 9th, 2015.
Date:
Tuesday 12th May 2015

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors
Description
Written by Chris Game. "The LGA's Magna Carta web pages have recently featured a delightful homophone – sounds the same as another word, but different spelling and meaning. Among this summer's many MC commemorative events will reportedly be "a programme of inciteful lectures and talks" (my emphasis)."
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

Blog: Why the zero-carbon homes policy hasn't gone to plan

Blog: Why the zero-carbon homes policy hasn't gone to plan
Description
In this post, Max Lempriere, PhD Researcher at The Department of Political Science and International Studies discusses why the zero-carbon home policy has not gone to plan. First Published on The Conversation 15th April 2015
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

Blog: A marriage made in heaven?

Blog: A marriage made in heaven?
Description
Written by Catherine Staite, Director of INLOGOV. The ESRC, LGA and SOLACE have created a new role – that of Research Facilitator for local government – with the aim of supporting strong and productive relationships between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. I'm very pleased to take on that role, with the active support of the INLOGOV team of academics and expert practitioners.
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

Blog: Preparing future leaders: The Total Leadership Programme

Blog: Preparing future leaders: The Total Leadership Programme
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin – Senior Associate Fellow. The Total Leadership Programme is an exciting new venture which is designed to help senior local government managers prepare themselves for a chief executive role. It's a partnership between INLOGOV and SOLACE, which fills a serious gap in provision nationally. It is open not only to directors in councils but also to people at a similar level within private sector firms who work in the public sector and who might be considering such a move too.
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

Blog: The West Midlands – a bellwether for the election?

Blog: The West Midlands – a bellwether for the election?
Description
In this post, Cherry Miller discusses the key battleground seats and issues in the West Midlands. The original version of this post was published as part of the General Election 2015 series on the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog on 14th April 2015.
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

Blog: Deaths in the Mediterranean are a direct result of ongoing crisis in north Africa

Blog: Deaths in the Mediterranean are a direct result of ongoing crisis in north Africa
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson, a political economist working predominantly on conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. A core area of interest is decentralisation and governance and it was his extensive experience in Sierra Leone immediately following the war that led him into the area of conflict analysis and security sector reform.
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

Blog: Make elections work for you: check the polls, but follow the money

Blog: Make elections work for you: check the polls, but follow the money
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Spoiler alert: this is a blog about elections, but not local elections – mainly because it's about election betting, and, with one conspicuous exception, which will be mentioned, our modern-day local election contests and candidates are rarely of sufficiently general interest to attract much serious fixed odds betting."
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

Blog: Seventh Annual POLSIS Postgraduate Colloquium

Blog: Seventh Annual POLSIS Postgraduate Colloquium
Description
This all day event is a brilliant opportunity for staff and students to find out what the School's PhD students are working on, as well as an opportunity for all our PhD students and staff to get together and discuss ongoing research.
Date:
Monday 13th April 2015

Blog: Council Tax Support – anatomy of a Pickles' localism triumph

Blog: Council Tax Support – anatomy of a Pickles' localism triumph
Description
Written by Chris Game. Shortly before the dissolution of Parliament, Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles issued an apparently self-penned eulogy of his ministerial record, entitled on the Government's own website, in characteristic, cod Churchillian, style: Local Government: Delivering for England. It makes an interesting document, as would be hoped of one requiring two separate links.
Date:
Friday 10th April 2015

Blog: Authoritarianism and the securitization of development in Africa

Blog: Authoritarianism and the securitization of development in Africa
Description
Written by Jonathan Fisher, lecturer in IDD. Jonathan Fisher and David M. Anderson published the article: Authoritarianism and the securitization of development in Africa this January, 2015. We asked Jonathan what drives his research interest in this field and to address some of the issues captured in the article.
Date:
Thursday 2nd April 2015

Blog: The cyber threat to the United Kingdom

Blog: The cyber threat to the United Kingdom
Description
Written by Gavin Hall, Doctoral Researcher in POLSIS. When the new government takes office in May 2015 one of the first tasks will be to initiate a Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
Date:
Monday 30th March 2015

Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant

Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant
Description
Written by Chris Game, Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Next week is the last week of Hilary Term, or revision week at the end of Spring Term, as it's known here at the UoB and most other universities who feel no great affinity to the probably inappropriately named 4th Century St Hilarius of Poitiers. Over the many years in which I lectured undergraduates, I used rather to like it: end of the course/module in sight, legitimate chance to share and spread gossip about approaching local elections, lecture attendances boosted by students desperate for exam hints. Plus, nowadays, plenty of discussion-prompting visual aids – one of which is the pretext for this blog.
Date:
Friday 20th March 2015

Blog: In Crimea, Time for Pressure

Blog: In Crimea, Time for Pressure
Description
By Liana Fix - Associate Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting PhD Researcher at the University of Birmingham. Forgetting about Crimea and the fate of the Crimean Tatars means implicitly acknowledging Russia's claim to the region. Instead, the international community must demonstrate to Russia that its arbitrary interpretation of international law regarding Crimea has long-term consequences. We are not yet in a post-Crimea phase.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

Blog: Grubby-handed local politicians? It's called local democracy and devolution, Sarah!

Blog: Grubby-handed local politicians? It's called local democracy and devolution, Sarah!
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. The BBC's Radio 4 Today programme isn't what Americans would call a Hot Talk show, and nicely spoken presenter Sarah Montague, even in her own fantasies, is no shock jock. So listeners must have been slightly surprised to hear her, while questioning the proposed devolution of NHS funding to Greater Manchester's combined authority, talk of "local politicians sticking their grubby hands into the decision-making process".
Date:
Friday 13th March 2015

Blog: International Women's Day and Britain's gender gap of shame

Blog: International Women's Day and Britain's gender gap of shame
Description
Written by Chris Game. Sunday sees the 107th celebration of International Women's Day (IWD), and for the 102nd year on March 8. It's a longer history than is often supposed and, reflected in its still occasionally used Leninist title – International Working Women's Day – a more socialist one.
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015
Displaying 1 to 30 of 369
Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next

 

idd-blog

 

inlogov-blog

 

POLSIS blog

 

Departmental news

Startling new concessions made by Syria's desperate president

Startling new concessions made by Syria's desperate president
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. Assad is running out of options – and he seems to be admitting it for the first time.
Date:
29/07/2015

Podcast: Smart, smart, and many versus few and bespoke: Will small drones shift the character of conflict?

Podcast: Smart, smart, and many versus few and bespoke: Will small drones shift the character of conflict?
Description
Speaker: Dr Thomas X Hammes, Distinguished Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Research, Institute of National Strategic Studies. The convergence of artificial intelligence, drone technology, and additive manufacturing are making the advent of swarms of small, autonomous drones a reality. Their debut on the battlefield will dramatically change the character of war in air, land, space, and sea domains.
Date:
24/07/2015

How Brazil and Argentina defused their nuclear rivalry

How Brazil and Argentina defused their nuclear rivalry
Description
Nicholas John Wheeler, University of Birmingham and Matias Spektor, Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Latin America's two biggest players spent much of the 1980s in a low-grade arms race – and they both had nuclear aspirations. How did they manage to diffuse the tension?
Date:
20/07/2015

Iran nuclear deal is built on trust as well as verification

Iran nuclear deal is built on trust as well as verification
Description
Written by Joshua Baker and Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler. Announcing the nuclear deal agreed this week between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the so-called E3+3 (the EU3 of France, Germany and the United Kingdom plus the United States, Russia, and China), US President Barack Obama declared: 'This deal is not built on trust, it is built on verification.'
Date:
17/07/2015

What the Iran nuclear deal means – and what it doesn't

What the Iran nuclear deal means – and what it doesn't
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. So there's now a real plan to sort out Iran's nuclear programme. What about all its other problems?
Date:
16/07/2015