News in the departments

Keep up to date with the latest news and events from around the school and the wide-ranging projects our staff and students get involved with.

Podcast: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: The Uses and Misuses of History

Podcast: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: The Uses and Misuses of History
Description
This round-table discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict which is one of the most complex and protracted ethno-territorial conflicts in the post-Soviet space. It focused on the role of historical narrative in the political discourse of all parties involved in the conflict. The round-table gathered together scholars and policy-makers with a lengthy empirical and political experience of this turbulent region.
Date:
Thursday 27th November 2014

Iran nuclear deal will come down to economic pressure

Iran nuclear deal will come down to economic pressure
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. Iran has failed to reach an agreement with six world powers about the future of its nuclear programme after talks. Talks in Vienna about the future of Iran's nuclear programme have failed for the time being. The countries involved have agreed to resume discussions in December with a view to reaching a political agreement by March 1 next year and a final deal by the end of June.
Date:
Thursday 27th November 2014

Podcast: Reflections On UK Africa Relations by Mark Simmonds MP

Podcast: Reflections On UK Africa Relations by Mark Simmonds MP
Description
This event entitled 'Reflections on UK Africa relations', covered Mark Simmonds time in office as well as his thoughts on the future of UK Africa relations in arenas including development, security and trade. The event was organised by the BISA Africa and International Studies Working Group, of which Dr Danielle Beswick is co-convenor, as part of a series of events around the UK during 2014 on 'Britain and Africa after 50.'
Date:
Wednesday 26th November 2014

Podcast: NATO after the Wales Summit

Podcast: NATO after the Wales Summit
Description
In response to the crisis in Ukraine, NATO's recent summit in Newport, Wales marked a seeming return to a traditional agenda of reassurance and deterrence. NATO has taken measures to shore up the defence of its eastern allies, but to what extent does the Alliance remain a useful tool of multilateral security cooperation in an era of defence austerity, cyber-attack and the collapse of order in Syria and Iraq? How important is NATO for American and British foreign policy? And what hope is their for a continuing dialogue with Russia? These issues were addressed by experts at this event.
Date:
Wednesday 26th November 2014

Blog: Ebola - where are the governments?

Blog: Ebola - where are the governments?
Description
Written by Dr Andrew Nickson. The terrible Ebola tragedy has spawned massive coverage in the world's media of Sierra Leone and Liberia – with harrowing images of victims, relatives, health workers, doctors, and aid agency staff. Yet one key 'stakeholder' in the fight against Ebola has been notably missing from this coverage – the government of both countries. Most of us would be hard pressed to name the presidents of either country* as they have been almost invisible, and the same goes for their respective health ministers.
Date:
Friday 21st November 2014

Tower Hamlets residents must be wondering why they bothered to vote

Tower Hamlets residents must be wondering why they bothered to vote
Description
Written by Chris Game. With a forced smile and through gritted teeth, Tower Hamlets' elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, has announced himself willing to accept – and even "welcome" – the intervention package set out for his borough by Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government.
Date:
Friday 21st November 2014

Blog: Pickles' Tower Hamlets takeover: a sad affair all round

Blog: Pickles' Tower Hamlets takeover: a sad affair all round
Description
Written by Chris Game. He kept Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, waiting until almost literally the 23rd hour of the 14th day of his two-week deadline. In the end, though, Tower Hamlets' elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, having last Friday lost his second, and ill-advised, application for a judicial review, was left with little choice.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 2014

Jerusalem attacks are no isolated incident: the third intifada is here

Jerusalem attacks are no isolated incident: the third intifada is here
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. The attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in which four Jewish worshippers were killed and eight were injured has sparked new fears that fighting between Israel and Palestinian could flare up once more. The attack, by two Palestinians carrying meat cleavers and a gun, has the potential to kick off fresh religious confrontation and a third intifada.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 2014

IDD Guest seminar podcast: The Green State in Africa: Environmental politics, climate change and social movements

IDD Guest seminar podcast: The Green State in Africa: Environmental politics, climate change and social movements
Description
Speaker: Carl Death, University of Manchester.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 2014

Podcast: Russia and the West since 1991: a tale of growing distrust

Podcast: Russia and the West since 1991: a tale of growing distrust
Description
The high level of trust that had been constructed between western and Soviet leaders in the late 1980s and early 1990s was not sustained when western leaders had to face an independent Russia, even though the new Russia began with every intention of transforming itself into a full participating member of the international institutions set up after 1945 to keep the peace. However, Russians – not just their government – had come to view international institutions with profound distrust as having deceived them in both the economic and diplomatic spheres.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 2014

Abe can win Japan's snap election but he needs to win big

Abe can win Japan's snap election but he needs to win big
Description
Written by Dr Julie Gilson. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to call a snap election for December 14 comes after what has been a rather bad week for him. Japan has slipped back into recession for the first time since 2012 and Abe has seen his popularity ratings drop below 50% for the first time.
Date:
Wednesday 19th November 2014

Czechs and Slovaks still search for truth and love, 25 years after the Velvet Revolution

Czechs and Slovaks still search for truth and love, 25 years after the Velvet Revolution
Description
Written by Dr Tim Haughton. At the top of Wencelas Square on the front of the Czech National Museum in Prague hangs a giant poster depicting the playwright dissident and former president Vaclav Havel. The poster has been hung, in part, to mark 25 years since the Velvet Revolution, or as it is known to Slovaks, the Gentle Revolution.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Call for papers: DLP conference on the politics of inequality

Call for papers: DLP conference on the politics of inequality
Description
The 2015 Developmental Leadership Program Annual Conference will bring together the latest thinking on the politics of inequality.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Deciphering Obama's letter to the Supreme Leader

Deciphering Obama's letter to the Supreme Leader
Description
Earlier this week, it was reported by The Wall Street Journal that President Barack Obama had sent a secret letter to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging him to accept the terms of a comprehensive agreement with the United States and other major world powers on the issue of Iran's nuclear programme.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Creating tomorrow's leading social scientists

Creating tomorrow's leading social scientists
Description
The Birmingham Doctoral Training Centre is one of only 21 across the UK to be accredited by the ESRC. It has 22 ESRC scholarships to fund doctoral research starting in 2015.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Hezbollah and the West unite to fight IS? Don't hold your breath

Hezbollah and the West unite to fight IS? Don't hold your breath
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. The Shia militant group Hezbollah has suggested its fight against Islamic State has given it a common purpose with the West. In an interview with the BBC, Mohammed Fneish, a Lebanese Hezbollah minister, said the Sunni group is bad for Muslims and kills more of them than his party's original enemy – Israel.
Date:
Friday 14th November 2014

Blog: What legacy will the rush to build houses leave for the next generation?

Blog: What legacy will the rush to build houses leave for the next generation?
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. Many rural and semi-rural localities are struggling to cope with the increasing number of applications for potential new housing developments, a proportion of which seem to defy logic and sound planning sense when matched against local knowledge and established patterns of socialisation.
Date:
Thursday 13th November 2014

Fixing aid: we can't turn off the tap at the first sign of corruption

Fixing aid: we can't turn off the tap at the first sign of corruption
Description
Written by Dr Heather Marquette. Over the past 15 years, those working in aid have changed the way they talk about corruption. Detecting and measuring corruption when money is sent overseas has become a hot topic since the United Nations...
Date:
Tuesday 11th November 2014

Undergraduate module: Introduction to Problems of World History in the 20th Century - Professor Scott Lucas

Undergraduate module: Introduction to Problems of World History in the 20th Century - Professor Scott Lucas
Description
The aim of this course is to consider political, economic, social, cultural, and ideological issues --- both in the past and the present --- through an overview of developments in global history in the 20th Century.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

Undergraduate module: End of Empire: Problems of International History - Professor Scott Lucas

Undergraduate module: End of Empire: Problems of International History - Professor Scott Lucas
Description
The aim of this course is to consider the notion of the "End of Empires" and what it means about power from 1900 to the present. That power is not only the power of empires --- past and current --- but also of those who challenge those empires and pursued their own political, social, economic, and ideological objectives. The course will intersect with ideas such as nationalism, decolonization, internationalism, and globalization.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014
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Blog: Ebola - where are the governments?

Blog: Ebola - where are the governments?
Description
Written by Dr Andrew Nickson. The terrible Ebola tragedy has spawned massive coverage in the world's media of Sierra Leone and Liberia – with harrowing images of victims, relatives, health workers, doctors, and aid agency staff. Yet one key 'stakeholder' in the fight against Ebola has been notably missing from this coverage – the government of both countries. Most of us would be hard pressed to name the presidents of either country* as they have been almost invisible, and the same goes for their respective health ministers.
Date:
21/11/2014

Blog: Pickles' Tower Hamlets takeover: a sad affair all round

Blog: Pickles' Tower Hamlets takeover: a sad affair all round
Description
Written by Chris Game. He kept Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, waiting until almost literally the 23rd hour of the 14th day of his two-week deadline. In the end, though, Tower Hamlets' elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, having last Friday lost his second, and ill-advised, application for a judicial review, was left with little choice.
Date:
20/11/2014

Blog: What legacy will the rush to build houses leave for the next generation?

Blog: What legacy will the rush to build houses leave for the next generation?
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. Many rural and semi-rural localities are struggling to cope with the increasing number of applications for potential new housing developments, a proportion of which seem to defy logic and sound planning sense when matched against local knowledge and established patterns of socialisation.
Date:
13/11/2014

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 3: courage

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 3: courage
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. Leadership is not a sprint – it's a marathon. You are in it for the long haul and that is why courage is so important. Maya Angelou argued that courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently and that is certainly evident in the role of chief executive. Not only do you need to keep yourself going through challenging times, you also need to be able to demonstrate courage to your staff and members. If you falter, so will they.
Date:
31/10/2014