Recent blog posts from around the School

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

Blog: Why you should be academic blogging as a PhD student

Blog: Why you should be academic blogging as a PhD student
Description
Pete Redford is a former Parliamentary researcher currently undertaking his PhD researching the 'underclass' at the University of Birmingham. He holds a BA (Hons) British Politics and Legislative Studies and MA Global Political Economy from the University of Hull.
Date:
Tuesday 16th July 2013

Blog: Re-establishing the relationship between citizens and politicians in Greece

Blog: Re-establishing the relationship between citizens and politicians in Greece
Description
George Despotidis is a first year Doctoral Researcher in INLOGOV. He completed an MSc in Public Management, also at INLOGOV, in 2012. His research interests include citizen involvement in policy-making, and decision-making processes with a specific focus on citizen participation.
Date:
Monday 15th July 2013

Blog: The impact factor

Blog: The impact factor
Description
Katherine Tonkiss completed her PhD in 2012, and is now a Research Fellow at INLOGOV. Her first book, Migration and Identity in a Post-national World, will be published later this year with Palgrave Macmillan. Her research interests are focused on the changing nature of migration, citizenship and democracy in a globalising world, the local experience of such transformations, and the intersection between normative and empirical research.
Date:
Friday 12th July 2013

Blog: Wherever I lay my highlighter, that's my home

Blog: Wherever I lay my highlighter, that's my home
Description
Tatum Matharu completed her PhD at INLOGOV in 2012. She is a Research Fellow at Birmingham Business School, working on a project (described above) funded by the National Institute for Health Research, partnered with the University's Health Services Management Centre.
Date:
Thursday 11th July 2013

Blog: It's not easy (but not too hard) to be a PhD student

Blog: It's not easy (but not too hard) to be a PhD student
Description
Pobsook Chamchong is a Thai Government Scholarship PhD student at INLOGOV. Before coming to Birmingham, she previously worked as a researcher for the Thailand Political Development Councils and for the Thailand Reform Committee.
Date:
Wednesday 10th July 2013

Blog: Homo subjectivo: Do western public management ideas work for people in the Middle East?

Blog: Homo subjectivo: Do western public management ideas work for people in the Middle East?
Description
Abena Dadze-Arthur is a researcher and public policy adviser with ten years experience of developing user-centric public policy for Western and non-Western governments across a wide range of public service areas. Abena is currently pursuing her doctoral research on social practices and cultural schemas that shape public management reform in Abu Dhabi Government.
Date:
Tuesday 9th July 2013

Blog: All in this together? Can citizens help transform public outcomes through co-production?

Blog: All in this together? Can citizens help transform public outcomes through co-production?
Description
Elke Loeffler is CEO of Governance International. Tony Bovaird is Professor of Public Management and Policy at INLOGOV. He worked in the UK Civil Service and several universities before moving to the University of Birmingham in 2006. He recently led the UK contribution to an EU project on user and community co-production of public services in five European countries, and is currently directing a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council on using 'nudge' techniques to influence individual service co-producers to participate in community co-production.
Date:
Monday 8th July 2013
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Departmental news

Undergraduate Open Day - Saturday 18 October 2014

Undergraduate Open Day - Saturday 18 October 2014
Description
Our Undergraduate Open Days offer you the perfect opportunity to hear first-hand from our current undergraduates and teaching staff about living and learning at Birmingham.
Date:
16/09/2014

The Conversation: Scotland vote appears to be defying usual referendum swing

The Conversation: Scotland vote appears to be defying usual referendum swing
Description
Written by Chris Game. It seems Scottish voters are warming to the whole independence idea, then – bucking the trend that the experts have been telling us for months they're almost bound to follow.
Date:
15/09/2014

New students 2014/15

New students 2014/15
Description
The staff at the School of Government and Society look forward to meeting all new students for the start of the 2014/15 academic year. All the information you'll need for starting at the University of Birmingham can be found on our Welcome homepage.
Date:
12/09/2014

Podcast: The Security Impact of Drone Warfare

Podcast: The Security Impact of Drone Warfare
Description
From counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, to Amazon delivery services, the use (and ownership) of drone technology has major implications for domestic and international security. But what are the legal and ethical implications of this technology, and can drones ever be fully autonomous? Join leading experts for a topical and timely debate on the civilian and military use of drones.
Date:
11/09/2014

POLSIS Seminar Series 2014-15

POLSIS Seminar Series 2014-15
Description
POLSIS hosts a number of seminars throughout the year which focuses on a number of different topics. Listen to the latest podcasts from our recent events.
Date:
10/09/2014