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.

Startling new concessions made by Syria's desperate president

Startling new concessions made by Syria's desperate president
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. Assad is running out of options – and he seems to be admitting it for the first time.
Date:
Wednesday 29th July 2015

Blog: Combined Authorities – Why Birmingham doesn't have a city region like Leeds

Blog: Combined Authorities – Why Birmingham doesn't have a city region like Leeds
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Cornwall leapfrogs West Midlands in devolution race" was the headline over one report of the Government's recent devolution deal with Cornwall Council, giving the county greater control over adult skills spending and regional investment, and, with the Isles of Scilly, the prospect of integrating health and social care services.
Date:
Friday 24th July 2015

Podcast: Smart, smart, and many versus few and bespoke: Will small drones shift the character of conflict?

Podcast: Smart, smart, and many versus few and bespoke: Will small drones shift the character of conflict?
Description
Speaker: Dr Thomas X Hammes, Distinguished Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Research, Institute of National Strategic Studies. The convergence of artificial intelligence, drone technology, and additive manufacturing are making the advent of swarms of small, autonomous drones a reality. Their debut on the battlefield will dramatically change the character of war in air, land, space, and sea domains.
Date:
Friday 24th July 2015

How Brazil and Argentina defused their nuclear rivalry

How Brazil and Argentina defused their nuclear rivalry
Description
Nicholas John Wheeler, University of Birmingham and Matias Spektor, Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Latin America's two biggest players spent much of the 1980s in a low-grade arms race – and they both had nuclear aspirations. How did they manage to diffuse the tension?
Date:
Monday 20th July 2015

Iran nuclear deal is built on trust as well as verification

Iran nuclear deal is built on trust as well as verification
Description
Written by Joshua Baker and Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler. Announcing the nuclear deal agreed this week between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the so-called E3+3 (the EU3 of France, Germany and the United Kingdom plus the United States, Russia, and China), US President Barack Obama declared: 'This deal is not built on trust, it is built on verification.'
Date:
Friday 17th July 2015

Blog: Is a 120-member council really too big?

Blog: Is a 120-member council really too big?
Description
Written by Chris Game. "This blog's main purpose is to place somewhere in the public domain some basic electoral data on council size. Basic, but not normally presented in a form that I've sometimes wanted for illustrative purposes. I'm hoping, therefore, there may be others who'll find the data of at least passing interest, so here goes."
Date:
Thursday 16th July 2015

What the Iran nuclear deal means – and what it doesn't

What the Iran nuclear deal means – and what it doesn't
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. So there's now a real plan to sort out Iran's nuclear programme. What about all its other problems?
Date:
Thursday 16th July 2015

Greece: a Europe forged in one crisis may have laid the foundations for the next

Greece: a Europe forged in one crisis may have laid the foundations for the next
Description
Written by Dr George Kyris. What might feel like a victory this morning for eurozone leaders and lenders has only served to feed a eurosceptic beast.
Date:
Tuesday 14th July 2015

South Sudan's viability requires an honest answer to avert further disaster

South Sudan's viability requires an honest answer to avert further disaster
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. South Sudan's independence in 2011, which ended half a century of deadly conflict, was met with much praise. But a descent into civil war has led to dismay and suggests fresh thinking is required.
Date:
Friday 10th July 2015

Scores killed by bombs and bullets as Boko Haram struggle escalates

Scores killed by bombs and bullets as Boko Haram struggle escalates
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. A week of carnage across northern Nigeria proves Boko Haram is alive and well. Can the Nigerian army get its act together?
Date:
Thursday 9th July 2015

Greece votes No: experts respond

Greece votes No: experts respond
Description
Written by Costas Milas, University of Liverpool; George Kyris, University of Birmingham; James Arvanitakis, University of Western Sydney; Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne; Remy Davison, Monash University; Richard Holden, UNSW Australia; Ross Buckley, UNSW Australia, and Sofia Vasilopoulou, University of York. Academic experts respond to the No vote in Greece's referendum on whether or not to accept a bailout offer from their international creditors.
Date:
Monday 6th July 2015

Syriza risks an EU exit in a referendum wracked with problems

Syriza risks an EU exit in a referendum wracked with problems
Description
Written by Dr Sotirios Zartaloudis. Greeks face a big dilemma in the July 5 referendum. It's been badly organised, democratically questionable and there's a great deal at stake.
Date:
Monday 6th July 2015

The dangerous gamble that could spark full-scale conflict in Ukraine

The dangerous gamble that could spark full-scale conflict in Ukraine
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). Ukraine is giving Russia two options – and neither is likely to end well.
Date:
Friday 3rd July 2015

Europe is heading towards constitutional crisis, with or without Greece

Europe is heading towards constitutional crisis, with or without Greece
Description
Written by Dr Nicole Scicluna. Five years of turmoil shows the union rests on shaky legal foundations.
Date:
Friday 3rd July 2015

Day of terror reminds us that extremism must be a problem shared

Day of terror reminds us that extremism must be a problem shared
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia come against a backdrop of increasing extremist violence across the world.
Date:
Monday 29th June 2015

Blog: Do 'sticky' institutions always survive? The demise of the Audit Commission

Blog: Do 'sticky' institutions always survive? The demise of the Audit Commission
Description
Written by Katherine Tonkiss. "The Audit Commission played a central role in the audit, inspection, performance improvement and regulation of local authorities (and other public service providers) in England for over thirty years. Operating at arm's length from government, it thrived under the efficiency and performance improvement agendas of successive Conservative and Labour governments, growing into a large and powerful public body."
Date:
Wednesday 24th June 2015

Blog: Prizes for local government: Latin America or England?

Blog: Prizes for local government: Latin America or England?
Description
Written by Dr Andrew Nickson. Last week I was in Panama City to deliver the inaugural address at the 2nd Latin American seminar on good practices in municipal management. My topic was the challenges of sub-national governance in the region, after thirty years during which local political democracy has gradually become the norm, accompanied by a growing share of fiscal revenue devolved to local government.
Date:
Monday 22nd June 2015

Syria's opposition is trapped in a life-threatening fuel crisis

Syria's opposition is trapped in a life-threatening fuel crisis
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. With both Islamic State and Assad cutting off its fuel supplies, the Syrian opposition is struggling to survive.
Date:
Monday 22nd June 2015

Birmingham academics present research findings in Parliament

Birmingham academics present research findings in Parliament
Description
Leading academics from the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security presented findings from their research project on 'The Political Effects of UAVs' to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones.
Date:
Friday 19th June 2015

Why the UK doesn't mind if aid boosts military spending

Why the UK doesn't mind if aid boosts military spending
Description
Written by Dr Jonathan Fisher. It's not a surprise that development aid frees up money for countries to spend on defence budgets. Why is the UK so shocked by its own policies?
Date:
Friday 19th June 2015
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Blog: Combined Authorities – Why Birmingham doesn't have a city region like Leeds

Blog: Combined Authorities – Why Birmingham doesn't have a city region like Leeds
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Cornwall leapfrogs West Midlands in devolution race" was the headline over one report of the Government's recent devolution deal with Cornwall Council, giving the county greater control over adult skills spending and regional investment, and, with the Isles of Scilly, the prospect of integrating health and social care services.
Date:
24/07/2015

Blog: Is a 120-member council really too big?

Blog: Is a 120-member council really too big?
Description
Written by Chris Game. "This blog's main purpose is to place somewhere in the public domain some basic electoral data on council size. Basic, but not normally presented in a form that I've sometimes wanted for illustrative purposes. I'm hoping, therefore, there may be others who'll find the data of at least passing interest, so here goes."
Date:
16/07/2015

Blog: Do 'sticky' institutions always survive? The demise of the Audit Commission

Blog: Do 'sticky' institutions always survive? The demise of the Audit Commission
Description
Written by Katherine Tonkiss. "The Audit Commission played a central role in the audit, inspection, performance improvement and regulation of local authorities (and other public service providers) in England for over thirty years. Operating at arm's length from government, it thrived under the efficiency and performance improvement agendas of successive Conservative and Labour governments, growing into a large and powerful public body."
Date:
24/06/2015

Blog: Prizes for local government: Latin America or England?

Blog: Prizes for local government: Latin America or England?
Description
Written by Dr Andrew Nickson. Last week I was in Panama City to deliver the inaugural address at the 2nd Latin American seminar on good practices in municipal management. My topic was the challenges of sub-national governance in the region, after thirty years during which local political democracy has gradually become the norm, accompanied by a growing share of fiscal revenue devolved to local government.
Date:
22/06/2015