Our latest blogs

The challenges of being part of the local government family
Catherine Staite Local government is made up of very diverse institutions, in terms of size, tiers, geography, demography and politics. No two local authorities are the same, even those who seem similar in many ways. Each has a unique combination of history, cultures, structures, systems and relationships.  Each will have different strengths and weakness. Some … Continue reading The challenges of being part of the local government family

Grenfell Tower: Not Local Government’s Finest Hour.
Philip Whiteman The Grenfell Tower disaster has not been local government’s finest hour in terms of their apparent response to the emergency.  So, if the media reports on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) have been accurate, their behaviour clearly differs from the LGA’s statement that, “Emergency planning is a key issue for … Continue reading Grenfell Tower: Not Local Government’s Finest Hour.

How other countries deal with the horror of a hung parliament.
Chris Game In amongst all the election analysis on the Friday morning after the night before, there was a widely reported quote from Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission: “As far as the Commission is concerned, we can open Brexit negotiations tomorrow morning at half-past-nine.” My first reaction was quite defensive. While kicking someone … Continue reading How other countries deal with the horror of a hung parliament.

The Road to A Soft Brexit
Jon Bloomfield The election result has been a game changer. The electorate has turned down the Theresa May/Daily Mail offer of a hard Brexit and the threat of walking away from the negotiations with the European Union. The issue did not get the in-depth discussion during the election that it should have, but the result … Continue reading The Road to A Soft Brexit

Land Value (or Garden) Tax and the General Election – more Adam Smith than Jeremy Marx
Chris Game One consequence of Theresa May delaying until mid-April her U-turn on holding a General Election was seen almost immediately – when it was decreed too late for the General, local and mayoral elections all to take place synchronously. It could have saved money and probably doubled the local and mayoral turnouts. Which in … Continue reading Land Value (or Garden) Tax and the General Election – more Adam Smith than Jeremy Marx

The General Election – Opportunity Nottingham Considers the Complexities of Voting for Those Facing Multiple Needs
In this post Opportunity Nottingham offer a different perspective on election coverage. They talk about the importance of listening and responding to those facing multiple needs in the run up to this election. With the upcoming general election just weeks away, it is important that everyone who has the right to vote is given the … Continue reading The General Election – Opportunity Nottingham Considers the Complexities of Voting for Those Facing Multiple Needs

May’s Conservatives: closer to a genuinely national party than Thatcher in ’83?
General Election, opinion polls, YouGov regional poll, regional variations, 1983 General election, Margaret Thatcher, Sadiq Khan You might think, given the record of opinion polls in the 2015 election campaign, that there’d be slightly fewer of them this time. Dream on! So far this month national voting intention polls have averaged well over one a … Continue reading May’s Conservatives: closer to a genuinely national party than Thatcher in ’83?

Mo Ibrahim Foundation Annual Governance Weekend: Marrakesh 2017
Ayat Abdelaziz and Richard Kweitsu are the Mo Ibrahim Scholars at the University of Birmingham.  Both of them are MSc students in IDD, and were invited to participate in the Mo Ibrahim Governance Weekend in Marrakesh. Over the past ten years, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has committed itself to deepening good governance, accountability and leadership […]

The Leadership Conundrum in Turkey’s District Governance – Insights from Doctoral Research
In this post Saban Akca presents findings from his recently completed PhD research into the behaviour of district governors in Turkey. His thesis is titled ‘The Complex Role of District Governors in Turkey: A Case of Sui Generis Public Leadership’.  Turkish district governors are centrally appointed public administrators who represent the Turkish state at localities … Continue reading The Leadership Conundrum in Turkey’s District Governance – Insights from Doctoral Research

The local and mayoral elections – and the significance of that 4-2 scoreline
Chris Game Local elections present the INLOGOV blog with an annual dilemma. They’re the heartbeat of democratic local government, its lifeblood, or something equally vital. So, they must be covered and key results namechecked. But INLOGOV’s not a news service, and, with so many Friday counts nowadays and results instantly available on social media, you … Continue reading The local and mayoral elections – and the significance of that 4-2 scoreline

Reflections on the election of the West Midlands Metro Mayor
Prof. Catherine Staite  Thursday’s mayoral elections brought some surprises.  There was a higher than expected turnout in areas like the West Midlands where public interest in the election had been worrying low during the campaign.  There were two notable cases of political revolution; Tees Valley and the West Midlands.  Like Ben Houchen in Tees Valley, … Continue reading Reflections on the election of the West Midlands Metro Mayor

Leapfrogging – Myth or Reality? Can economic growth really be decoupled from increased carbon emissions in Least Developed Countries? Ethiopia’s Story
Steve Baines is a 2016 IDD MSc Masters Graduate in International Development (Environment, Sustainability & Politics). He came to this after a career in UK affordable housing culminating as National Director of a FTSE250 company. Steve has deep interests in worldwide development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. On a local level, he has developed […]

Decolonizing Education: Social Movements, Research Methods and my IDD dissertation experience
Erika Bojarczuk is a 2016 IDD graduate, having studied the MSc International Development (Poverty, Inequality and Development) programme. Before Birmingham, she graduated from Castleton University in VT, USA, with a BA in Global Studies and studied for a semester at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Erika is currently living in the US […]

Witchcraft and conflict: Exploring alternative discourses of insecurity – Introducing a new research project
Jonathan Fisher is a senior lecturer at the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham. His research is focused on the place and agency of African states in the international system, particularly in the realm of security and conflict. Within this he is interested in the role played by African governments in shaping how they […]

Why Russia, Turkey and Iran are natural allies
The ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran has opened the way to peace talks in Kazakhstan between the Syrian government and opposition. The Kazakh president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will play peacemaker and the timing of the conference will enable participation by the new US administration. But however the US fits in, the rise of a Russian-Iranian-Turkish triumverate is a hugely significant development.

UN finally apologises for bringing cholera to Haiti – now it must match its words with funds
Rosa Freedman is Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development at the University of Reading. Rosa researches and writes on the United Nations, with a particular interest in the human rights bodies and in peacekeeping. Rosa has a broader interest in the impact of politics, international relations, the media, and civil society both on the work and […]

The politics of the census in consociational democracies
IDD teaching fellow Dr Laurence Cooley has recently been awarded ESRC Future Research Leaders funding for a project on the politics of the census in consociational democracies. The project will begin in February 2017. We sat down with Laurence to discuss his research plans. Can you tell us a bit about what the focus of […]

Taking the ‘Unintended Consequences’ of Peacekeeping Seriously – How Haiti Has the Potential to Revolutionize World Politics, Again
Rosa Freedman is Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development at the University of Reading. Rosa researches and writes on the United Nations, with a particular interest in the human rights bodies and in peacekeeping. Rosa has a broader interest in the impact of politics, international relations, the media, and civil society both on the work and […]

Governing Coastal and Marine Resources: Learning the Challenges of Multi-level Governance
Fiona Nunan is a Senior Lecturer in Environment and Development and the Director of the International Development Department.  Her interests and experience focus on natural resource governance and management in developing country settings, particularly within inland fisheries and coastal locations in East and Southern Africa, and on exploring the links between poverty and the environment. The multiple ways […]

Five years after independence, violence still stalks South Sudan
Paul Jackson is 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. He was Director of the GFN-SSR and […]