Recent blog posts from around the School

Blog: Closing the loop: bridging the gap between provision and implementation of feedback

Blog: Closing the loop: bridging the gap between provision and implementation of feedback
Description
'Closing the loop: bridging the gap between provision and implementation of feedback' is a project funded by a Higher Education Academy collaborative Teaching Development Grant. Running from June 2013 through December 2014, it brings together four researchers – Dr Helen Williams, Dr Bettina Renz, Dr Nicola Smith and Dr Hardeep Basra – in the politics departments at the University of Nottingham and the University of Birmingham.
Date:
Wednesday 9th October 2013

Blog: Relational leadership, group dynamics and personal identity.

Blog: Relational leadership, group dynamics and personal identity.
Description
Written by Kim Ryley. Kim Ryley is a recent Past President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and a Trustee of the Leadership Centre. He has 14 years experience as a Chief Executive in four upper tier local authorities. Kim is currently a freelance Leadership Development Consultant and Director of Torque Leadership Associates Ltd.
Date:
Tuesday 8th October 2013

Blog: Keeping the door open to new ideas on leadership: Why the public sector may be leading the way

Blog: Keeping the door open to new ideas on leadership: Why the public sector may be leading the way
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. In 1981, Ralf Stogdill published with Bernie Bass a taxonomy of leadership research. To scholars of leadership this Magnus opus has performed two vital functions: firstly, it has been invaluable in keeping open cathedral doors in a gale; and secondly as a work of undoubted scholarly value that it is has served to demonstrate how often confused and misplaced a great deal of leadership research in the past has been.
Date:
Monday 7th October 2013

Blog: Following the UN route on Syria

Blog: Following the UN route on Syria
Description
Written by Nicholas J. Wheeler. After two years of paralysis in the face of the growing humanitarian catastrophe engulfing Syria, the UN Security Council finally took centre-stage last Friday. Resolution 2118 that was adopted unanimously on 27 September at ministerial level broke new ground in the Council's history. For the first time, the fifteen-member body agreed 'that the use of chemical weapons anywhere constitutes a threat to international peace and security.' The significance of this language is that as the body responsible for maintaining 'international peace and security', such a determination is a prior condition for the Council activating the use of coercive enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
Date:
Friday 4th October 2013

Blog: George Osborne's budget surplus: paid for by local government

Blog: George Osborne's budget surplus: paid for by local government
Description
Written by Chris Game. In his party conference speech on Monday, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that a Conservative Government would seek, by the end of the 2015-20 Parliament, to have eliminated completely the roughly £120 billion national deficit and be running a budget surplus.
Date:
Friday 4th October 2013

Blog: It's all about the governance - and elections don't always solve anything

Blog: It's all about the governance - and elections don't always solve anything
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. In early 2012 a group of Salafi-Jihadi militant groups took control of northern Mali's major population centres prompting a French-led international intervention that incorporated the African Union and other regional militaries. On January 11th 2013, French forces started a successful offensive that stopped Mali's complete collapse, allowing sufficient leeway to hold elections in July 2013 during which democracy was held to be the victor with many people openly defying threats of violence to cast their votes. Largely forgotten in the wake of the horrors of Islamic terrorism in Kenya and the continuing conflagration in Syria, could Mali offer a model of successful intervention in conflict?
Date:
Friday 4th October 2013

Blog: A new response to the 'jaws of doom'

Blog: A new response to the 'jaws of doom'
Description
Catherine Staite responds to Local Government Chronicle's anonymous 'Insider' columnist about the 'jaws of doom' and INLOGOV's New Model of Public Services.
Date:
Thursday 3rd October 2013

Blog: Caught in the crossfire: local authority outsourcing and the murky world of employment law

Blog: Caught in the crossfire: local authority outsourcing and the murky world of employment law
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. Given the extent of legislation affecting officers and members in local government, it can be rather misleading to see the influence of Westminster solely through the lens of direct local government legislation. Wider legislation on employment has arguably had as big an impact on the way that local government and local government services are delivered.
Date:
Thursday 3rd October 2013

Blog: The unintended consequences of foreign intervention

Blog: The unintended consequences of foreign intervention
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. After the horrors of the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, there will be inevitable questions about the nature of Islamic terrorism in East Africa. However, the attack itself is part of an on-going conflict in Kenya that in turn is part of a bigger regional conflagration based on Somalia. In fact the attack on the mall can be traced back to an international intervention that produced a number of unintended consequences, one of which has been the transformation of the group that perpetrated the attack, Al-Shabaab.
Date:
Tuesday 1st October 2013

Blog: The Butler 1944 Education Act: both milestone and millstone

Description
A 'Legislative game-changer' was what we were asked for. Or was it 'Legislative Game-changer'? No matter; this one was both. It's exactly a half-century since the summer of '63: Profumo and Keeler, Philby, the Great Train Robbery, the Beatles, Sindy dolls, and my leaving the boys' grammar school, to which I'd 'won' a place seven years earlier by passing the compulsory 11-plus exam, and going to university. Statement of fact, but also declaration of interest.
Date:
Tuesday 1st October 2013

Blog: The Housing Acts of 1980: a watershed in housing policy

Blog: The Housing Acts of 1980: a watershed in housing policy
Description
Alan Murie and Chris Watson are former Directors of the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Birmingham. Alan Murie is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Chris Watson is Honorary Senior Lecturer. Both are members of the Housing and Communities Research Network in the University's School of Social Policy.
Date:
Wednesday 25th September 2013

Blog: Empire without End?

Blog: Empire without End?
Description
Adrian Campbell is a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham's International Development Department. He is an organizational theorist with longstanding interests and experience in the associated fields of leadership and human resource management and he has researched, taught and consulted in these fields for over thirty years.
Date:
Tuesday 24th September 2013

Blog: Direct Payments Act 1996: a legislative game-changer on a slow burn

Blog: Direct Payments Act 1996: a legislative game-changer on a slow burn
Description
By Catherine Needham. Some legislative game-changers have a high-profile passage through Parliament, with much media fanfare about how things will never be the same again: gay rights legislation, for example, fits into this category. Other game-changers proceed more quietly, with their immediate implications limited to a relatively small number of people. This latter type can be characterised as 'valve' legislation, in the sense that once passed there is no going back, even if this is not fully appreciated at the time.
Date:
Tuesday 24th September 2013

Blog: The Health Act 2006: Behaviour change in action?

Blog: The Health Act 2006: Behaviour change in action?
Description
By Catherine Staite. The Health Act 2006 is a very dull title for an Act of Parliament which has had such a profound and universally beneficial impact on all our lives. It enacted the ban on smoking in enclosed places to which the public have access.
Date:
Monday 23rd September 2013

Blog: Who'll work with the Lib Dems?

Blog: Who'll work with the Lib Dems?
Description
By Chris Game. One of the few perks of my first paid research job was visiting the major party conferences. This was in the early 1970s, when policies were genuinely debated, votes were taken and mattered, and leaders' speeches didn't have to be delivered without visible notes.
Date:
Friday 20th September 2013

Blog: The role of social value outcomes in commissioning services

Blog: The role of social value outcomes in commissioning services
Description
William Jabang is a Doctoral Researcher at INLOGOV. His PhD research is focused on commissioning and procuring social value.
Date:
Tuesday 10th September 2013

Blog: Bankruptcies, scofflaws and aldermen: differentiated by a common language

Blog: Bankruptcies, scofflaws and aldermen: differentiated by a common language
Description
Written by Chris Game. It must have happened to you. You come across a word for, as far as you're aware, the first time in your life, you learn its meaning, and then read or hear it again in a quite different context just a few days later.
Date:
Monday 9th September 2013

Blog: Improve your prospects by studying with INLOGOV

Blog: Improve your prospects by studying with INLOGOV
Description
There has never been a better time to invest in your future. Local government – and the wider public sector- needs creative, agile and intelligent leaders who can respond to a fast-changing and challenging environment. But – more people are competing for fewer jobs.
Date:
Thursday 29th August 2013

Blog: In search of a new paradigm for international interventions

Blog: In search of a new paradigm for international interventions
Description
Nicolas Lemay-Hébert is a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham's International Development Department. He is interested in peacebuilding and statebuilding, humanitarian interventions in post-conflict or post-disaster contexts, and local narratives of resistance to international interventions. Nicolas co-convenes the postgraduate module on Governance and Statebuilding.
Date:
Wednesday 21st August 2013

Blog: "Birmingham City Council Bans New Payday Lending" - that's Birmingham, Alabama, of course

Blog: "Birmingham City Council Bans New Payday Lending" - that's Birmingham, Alabama, of course
Description
I was reminded recently, as the Archbishop of Canterbury was skirmishing with Wonga, and Plymouth City Council banning payday loan advertising on bus shelters and city centre hoardings, of an internet headline from a couple of years ago: "Birmingham City Council Bans New Payday Lending". It naturally got my attention, if only for the few seconds it took to realise that, regrettably, it simply had to be the 'other' Birmingham, the one in the southern American state of Alabama. Written by Chris Game.
Date:
Thursday 8th August 2013

Blog: Fracking: the latest challenge in the Tory heartlands

Blog:  Fracking: the latest challenge in the Tory heartlands
Description
Martin Stott joined INLOGOV as an Associate in 2012 after a 25 year career in local government. He is National Policy Adviser on minerals planning for the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Date:
Wednesday 7th August 2013

Blog: Dr Foster's day out in the sun: the use and abuse of hospital mortality rates

Blog: Dr Foster's day out in the sun: the use and abuse of hospital mortality rates
Description
Chris Game is a Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV interested in the politics of local government; local elections, electoral reform and other electoral behaviour; party politics; political leadership and management; member-officer relations; central-local relations; use of consumer and opinion research in local government; the modernisation agenda and the implementation of executive local government.
Date:
Thursday 25th July 2013

Blog: Picturing place: citizen participation in the age of social media

Description
Katherine Tonkiss is a Research Fellow at INLOGOV. She is currently working on a three year, ESRC funded project titled Shrinking the State, and is converting her PhD thesis, on the subject of migration and identity, into a book to be published later this year with Palgrave Macmillan.
Date:
Wednesday 24th July 2013

Blog: The 'Detroit question' and Parish Councils

Blog: The 'Detroit question' and Parish Councils
Description
Ian Briggs is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Local Government Studies. He has research interests in the development and assessment of leadership, performance coaching, organisational development and change, and the establishment of shared service provision.
Date:
Tuesday 23rd July 2013

Blog: Examining citizen participation: theory and practice

Blog: Examining citizen participation: theory and practice
Description
Laurens de Graaf is a lecturer at Tilburg School of Politics and Public Administration, Tilburg University, The Netherlands. In the last ten years he conducted theoretical and empirical research with regard to citizens participation and in a broader sense: the functioning of local democracy. He is often in the field moderating workshops and trainings for councillors, mayors, active citizens and (neighbourhood) professionals about their role and their potential added value to local democracy.
Date:
Monday 22nd July 2013

Blog: Reflecting on the doctoral take-over

Blog: Reflecting on the doctoral take-over
Description
Over the last ten days the INLOGOV blog has reflected some of the great talent we currently have within our PhD cohort. INLOGOV has 28 students, a quarter of which are part time and working in public service. We like to think this gives a distinct flavour to our programme. The blog over recent days profiled some of the great work among current students and reflections from previous INLOGOV graduates of our doctoral programme.
Date:
Friday 19th July 2013

Blog: Finding an academic home

Blog: Finding an academic home
Description
Mark Roberts is a Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and Public Policy at De Montfort University, Leicester. His research interests include citizen participation, neighbourhood working, new institutional theory, interpretive analysis and the influence of religion and race in urban politics. Before completing his PhD at INLOGOV, Dr Roberts worked in local authority social work for twenty nine years, with his last post being Deputy Director of Social Services in Sandwell MBC in the West Midlands.
Date:
Friday 19th July 2013

Blog: Different expectations and different contexts

Blog: Different expectations and different contexts
Description
Dr Thom Oliver is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes Business School. He completed his PhD, exploring the representative role of councillors on appointed bodies, at INLOGOV in 2011. He currently lives in Bristol and has recently rejoined INLOGOV as an Associate.
Date:
Thursday 18th July 2013

Blog: HS2: the importance of evidence

Blog: HS2: the importance of evidence
Description
Rebecca O'Neill is a doctoral student looking at the role of evidence within High Speed Two. She has an interest in the conceptualisation of evidence, evidence-based policy making, the claims-making framework and interpretive approaches to research.
Date:
Wednesday 17th July 2013

Blog: Leaping from campus to council

Blog: Leaping from campus to council
Description
Mark Ewbank is currently the service lead for Overview & Scrutiny in the City of Westminster. He graduated from his PhD studies at INLOGOV in 2011, with a thesis focused on party group organisation and behaviour within and outside legislatures, especially in relation to the roles of political actors as part of groups/select or scrutiny committees. Mark also taught classical political theory at an undergraduate and postgraduate level at the University of Birmingham.
Date:
Wednesday 17th July 2013
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Departmental news

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal
Description
Written by Dr Julie Gilson. In a country that has had nine leaders since 2000, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe appeared to have found the recipe for longevity. But the resignation of two ministers from his government has left him in serious trouble.
Date:
22/10/2014

Ukraine steels itself for winter as Novorossiya forges ahead

Ukraine steels itself for winter as Novorossiya forges ahead
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). The EU-Asia Summit in Milan, Italy, delivered little, if any, tangible progress to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Relations between Russia and Ukraine's major European allies remain just a few degrees above a new Cold War-style ice age. And with only a preliminary gas deal achieved between Kiev and Moscow this may be quite literally true for Ukrainians as winter approaches.
Date:
20/10/2014

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff
Description
New Members of Staff in POLSIS Strengthen Coverage of European politics, international political economy and international relations.
Date:
20/10/2014

Albania-Serbia football drone farce shows Balkan nationalism is still a dangerous powder keg

Albania-Serbia football drone farce shows Balkan nationalism is still a dangerous powder keg
Description
Written by Dr Gëzim Alpion. Few thought that Serbia's Euro 2016 qualifying fixture against Albania on October 14 2014 would be an easy match. But the depths to which it sank are shocking even to those familiar with the potency of anti-Albanian feeling among Serbia's nationalist factions.
Date:
16/10/2014

Bursaries for Postgraduate Study in POLSIS 2015/16

Bursaries for Postgraduate Study in POLSIS 2015/16
Description
For the Academic year 2014-15, POLSIS is pleased to offer a range of full and partial bursaries for both domestic/EU and non-EU students.
Date:
15/10/2014