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.

Things will never be the same again: reflections on the Scottish referendum

Things will never be the same again: reflections on the Scottish referendum
Description
Written by Professor Colin Thain. Whatever the outcome of today's referendum of 3.5 million voters in Scotland, Friday 19 September 2014 will be an epoch-making day in the politics of these islands. For once, the hyperbole is justified.
Date:
Thursday 18th September 2014

The Conversation: Ban pre-election opinion polls at your peril

The Conversation: Ban pre-election opinion polls at your peril
Description
Written by Chris Game. I really thought we might make it. We'd got past the publication of YouGov's potentially constitution-changing poll showing a minuscule lead for the Yes campaign without anyone grabbing for an easy headline by calling for opinion polls to be banned in the run-up to elections and referendums.
Date:
Thursday 18th September 2014

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:
Tuesday 16th September 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:
Monday 15th September 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:
Friday 12th September 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:
Thursday 11th September 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:
Wednesday 10th September 2014

Student Exchange and Year Abroad

Student Exchange and Year Abroad
Description
Dr Huw Macartney talks about why you should do a year abroad degree with the Department of Political Science and International Studies. All programmes offered in the POLSIS provide students with the opportunity to develop a broad disciplinary knowledge base and a range of analytical and transferable skills, as well as allowing them to build up expertise in specific areas of political life.
Date:
Wednesday 10th September 2014

Recent publications and conference presentations demonstrate the strength of research in POLSIS

Recent publications and conference presentations demonstrate the strength of research in POLSIS
Description
Several publications and conference presentations by academics in the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) demonstrate the quality and vibrancy of research in the department
Date:
Tuesday 9th September 2014

The Conversation: BRICS keep supporting Russia in bid to rebalance world power

The Conversation: BRICS keep supporting Russia in bid to rebalance world power
Description
Written by Dr Marco Vieira. While Western nations beef up economic sanctions and Nato discusses what stance to take toward Russia, the BRICS are maintaining tacit support for Moscow despite the Ukraine crisis.
Date:
Tuesday 9th September 2014

The Conversation: Why 'fools rush in' is Obama's watchword in Iraq and Syria

The Conversation: Why 'fools rush in' is Obama's watchword in Iraq and Syria
Description
Written by Dr Adam Quinn. US president Barack Obama has yet to work out exactly what America's strategy is in confronting Islamic State (IS), and has been foolish enough to say so in public. Cue the foreseeable torrent of point-scoring from opponents.
Date:
Friday 5th September 2014

Student Enhancement Fund profiles 2014

Student Enhancement Fund profiles 2014
Description
Find out how our undergraduate and postgraduate students have used the School of Government and Society student enhancement fund throughout 2013/14 and read about their experiences.
Date:
Thursday 4th September 2014

Patrick Pitts, Internship at the US Congress, Washington, D.C. (Summer 2014)

Patrick Pitts, Internship at the US Congress, Washington, D.C. (Summer 2014)
Description
My internship was by far the hardest experience I've ever underwent; when you're working for someone whose schedule frequently includes "meeting with POTUS" (President of the United States), you know that a lot is expected of you.
Date:
Thursday 4th September 2014

Tomislav Korman, SIPRI International Development Conference, Stockholm (March 2014)

Tomislav Korman, SIPRI International Development Conference, Stockholm (March 2014)
Description
Tomislav Korman, a Masters student in Public Administration in the International Development Department of the School of Government and Society, attended the 2014 Stockholm Forum on Security and Development, organized by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation.
Date:
Thursday 4th September 2014

NATO Must Look Forward to the Past

NATO Must Look Forward to the Past
Description
Written by Professor Mark Webber and Heidi Reisinger (Senior Analyst at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy). NATO's intent to follow America's lead and pivot towards Asia is illogical and unrealistic. The Ukraine crisis has served to bang their heads together and remind them that although the connection to the US is crucial, NATO business is in Europe.
Date:
Wednesday 3rd September 2014

The Conversation: Forgotten South Sudan tangled in factionalism and failed politics

The Conversation: Forgotten South Sudan tangled in factionalism and failed politics
Description
Written by Dr Jonathan Fisher. Largely knocked out of the news by the crises in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Gaza (to name a few), a civil war has nonetheless devastated South Sudan since December 2013. It has left thousands dead, and more than a million have been internally displaced or forced into refugee camps.
Date:
Wednesday 3rd September 2014

The Conversation: Douglas Carswell by-election is a rare and honourable event

The Conversation: Douglas Carswell by-election is a rare and honourable event
Description
Written by Chris Game. The least surprising part of Douglas Carswell's defection to UKIP was surely his decision to resign his Clacton seat and seek re-election in a by-election.
Date:
Friday 29th August 2014

The Conversation: Nationalism sparks a summer of deadly violence in the Caucasus

The Conversation: Nationalism sparks a summer of deadly violence in the Caucasus
Description
Written by Kevork Oskanian. The world has been brutally reminded of the unresolved conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave in the South Caucasus which Armenia and Azerbaijan have locked horns over for more than 25 years. While the situation is clearly at a low ebb, the facts of what is happening are far from clear.
Date:
Thursday 28th August 2014

The Conversation: If lauding Thatcher was cause to recall parliament, why not Iraq?

The Conversation: If lauding Thatcher was cause to recall parliament, why not Iraq?
Description
Written by Chris Game. MPs from all parties have called in recent weeks for parliament to be reconvened to enable them to debate the ongoing crisis in Iraq. They have met with unbending opposition. But David Cameron's decision to bring everyone back last year to eulogise Margaret Thatcher might make it difficult for him to resist indefinitely.
Date:
Thursday 21st August 2014

Creating Change, Expanding Opportunity - IDD Annual Report 2013-14

Creating Change, Expanding Opportunity - IDD Annual Report 2013-14
Description
Welcome to a special anniversary Annual Report. Browse an overview of IDD's recent research, teaching, consultancy and publications.
Date:
Thursday 21st August 2014
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Recent blog posts

Blog: In case you missed it: the Local Government (Independence) Bill

Blog: In case you missed it: the Local Government (Independence) Bill
Description
Written by Chris Game. It was partly the timing. In combination, the suddenly increased likelihood of both Scottish independence and a Coalition break-up were bound to eclipse last Friday's scheduled Second Reading of the Local Government (Independence) Bill. It was unfortunate, though. After all, local government independence would be a pretty big deal too, wouldn't it?
Date:
09/09/2014

Blog: Councils should have the power NOT to tax supermarkets

Blog: Councils should have the power NOT to tax supermarkets
Description
Written by Chris Game. There's no shortage of reasons to dislike supermarkets generally and Tesco in particular – their flimsy carrier bags, their irritating BOGOFs and BOGOHOs (Buy One, Get One Half Off), their unpoliced disabled parking bays, their Everyday Value instant coffee granules. Then there are all the economic, environmental and social reasons – the ones understandably more emphasised in Derby City Council's recent proposal that local authorities be given the power to introduce a levy of 8.5% of rateable value on large retail outlets: a supermarket or Tesco tax, as it was instantly labelled by the media.
Date:
01/09/2014

Blog: On Reporting the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Blog: On Reporting the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
Description
Written by Dr Kamala Imranli-Lowe and Dr Galina Yemelianova. In early August 2014 the British media reported an escalation in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This has brought the conflict, which has been less covered since the cease-fire of May 1994, back to the media's attention. This blog is intended to shed some light on the role of the British, and the wider Western, media in shaping particular attitudes among the public, as well as policy-makers involved in the negotiation process over this conflict.
Date:
18/08/2014

Blog: Predictably Unpredictable: The 2014 parliamentary elections in Slovenia

Blog: Predictably Unpredictable: The 2014 parliamentary elections in Slovenia
Description
Written by Dr Alenka Krašovec, University of Ljubljana and Dr Tim Haughton, University of Birmingham. Parliamentary elections and party politics in Slovenia are becoming predictable in their unpredictability. For the first two decades of the country's independence party politics was largely stable. True, in the second decade the once mighty force of Slovene politics, Liberal Democracy, saw its support drop, the Social Democrats emerged as a powerful force, but only really for one election in 2008, and there were a stream of new parties...
Date:
28/07/2014