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.

Research project: Network governance and low carbon transitions in European cities (Nov 2014 - Oct 2017)

Research project: Network governance and low carbon transitions in European cities (Nov 2014 - Oct 2017)
Description
How can European cities transition to a low carbon future? What are the governance challenges in creating environmentally sustainable cities? Can ideas about 'network governance' enhance adaption to climate change by improving interaction between citizens, businesses, associations and governments?
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

Research project: Do flexible institutions enhance democracy? A comparative analysis of public governance innovations in Brazil and the UK (Jul 2014 - Jul 2016)

Research project: Do flexible institutions enhance democracy? A comparative analysis of public governance innovations in Brazil and the UK (Jul 2014 - Jul 2016)
Description
The purpose of this exploratory research is to bring complementary expertise from the UK and Brazil to the analysis of democratic innovations - the global search for new ways in which societal, economic and cultural problems can be resolved through the direct involvement of citizens, civil society organisations, and other parties.
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

Podcast: Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries Lecture

Podcast: Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries Lecture
Description
Speaker: Ms. Donna Guest, Senior Advisor on Southeast Asia at Institute for Human Rights and Business
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

Robert Keohane delivers lecture at the University of Birmingham

Robert Keohane delivers lecture at the University of Birmingham
Description
Leading International Relations (IR) scholar, Robert Keohane (Princeton), visited Birmingham last week (29 October 2014) and delivered a lecture as part of the POLSIS Seminar Series.
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

Job vacancy: Teaching Fellow, International Development Department

Job vacancy: Teaching Fellow, International Development Department
Description
Applications are invited for a one year position of Teaching Fellow with the International Development Department to begin in January 2015. Full time, fixed term contract up to 12 months (maternity cover).
Date:
Thursday 6th November 2014

A View from Zaporizhzhia, SE Ukraine

A View from Zaporizhzhia, SE Ukraine
Description
Written by Duncan Leitch (CREES Doctoral Researcher).
Date:
Wednesday 5th November 2014

Was UK aid watchdog right to accuse DfID of failing to tackle corruption?

Was UK aid watchdog right to accuse DfID of failing to tackle corruption?
Description
Three academics give their thoughts on the Icai report, which said Britain is failing to address corruption in the countries it gives aid to. But what do you think? Written by Heather Marquette, Richard Mallett and Mick Moore.
Date:
Wednesday 5th November 2014

Recent PhD Success Highlights Strength of POLSIS Doctoral Research

Recent PhD Success Highlights Strength of POLSIS Doctoral Research
Description
Sixteen doctoral students gained a PhD in the past year in POLSIS.
Date:
Monday 3rd November 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:
Friday 31st October 2014

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. Does this month's escalation in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank mean that a third intifada – a Palestinian uprising against the Israel's occupation, following those of 1987 and 2000 – is imminent? The latest events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prove that the next round could kick off at any moment.
Date:
Friday 31st October 2014

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. Does this month's escalation in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank mean that a third intifada – a Palestinian uprising against the Israel's occupation, following those of 1987 and 2000 – is imminent? The latest events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prove that the next round could kick off at any moment.
Date:
Friday 31st October 2014

Blog: Achieving better outcomes for the troubled family of local government

Blog: Achieving better outcomes for the troubled family of local government
Description
Written by Simon Parker. In this debate, Simon Parker (NLGN), Catherine Staite (INLOGOV) and Tony Bovaird (INLOGOV) agree that the current state of UK local government is unsustainable – but see different routes to rescuing a sustainable future.
Date:
Thursday 30th October 2014

Podcast: Hobbes's Dilemma and the Liberal Quest for World Order

Podcast: Hobbes's Dilemma and the Liberal Quest for World Order
Description
A joint POLSIS/ICCS distinguished lecture given by one of the world's leading experts on international relations. Chair: Dr Tim Haughton (POLSIS/CREES), Speaker: Robert O. Keohane (Princeton University), Discussant: Professor Nicholas Wheeler (ICCS, University of Birmingham).
Date:
Thursday 30th October 2014

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Researching change and continuity in rural Ethiopia: 20 villages over 20 years – the WIDE research project

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Researching change and continuity in rural Ethiopia: 20 villages over 20 years – the WIDE research project
Description
Speaker: Catherine Dom, Mokoro Ltd, WIDE Research Team.
Date:
Tuesday 28th October 2014

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 2: charm

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 2: charm
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. Charm is shorthand for a sophisticated set of skills which enable you to make new connections and solve old problems. Charm is about much more than being nice in a superficial way – otherwise known as 'smarm'. If you don't have real charm then just be gruff and honest. Everyone will understand. Smarm, on the other hand, will simply breed distrust.
Date:
Tuesday 28th October 2014

CREES Staff and Students discuss their research on the Caucasus in Ireland and France

CREES Staff and Students discuss their research on the Caucasus in Ireland and France
Description
Kataryna Wolczuk, Dr Derek Averre, Dr Kevork Oskanian and Nino Kemoklidze presented and discussed their research findings and ideas at the UACES 44th Annual Conference in Cork, Ireland and at a steering committee meeting of an international research project in Paris, France in September.
Date:
Tuesday 28th October 2014

Pro-Western bloc set for majority in elections that expose deep divisions in Ukraine

Pro-Western bloc set for majority in elections that expose deep divisions in Ukraine
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). Ukrainians have voted for a new parliament. The exit polls, in line with earlier predictions, indicate that the Petro Poroshenko Bloc – which also includes the UDAR party of Kiev's mayor, former boxing champion Vitali Klichko – came out on top (predicted to achieve around 23% of the vote), but will need partners to form a stable coalition that will give Poroshenko a majority in parliament.
Date:
Monday 27th October 2014

Blog: Postcard from Tokyo: local government remorse, Japanese-style

Blog: Postcard from Tokyo: local government remorse, Japanese-style
Description
Written by Chris Game. I've had the good fortune to spend the past week in Tokyo, as Japan commemorates the 50th anniversary of arguably the most geo-politically transformative Olympic Games, in the city that underwent a scarcely credible urban transformation in order to stage them.
Date:
Monday 27th October 2014

Assessing the State of the EU

Assessing the State of the EU
Description
Dr Tim Haughton participated in a panel in Brussels discussing the past, present and future of European integration.
Date:
Friday 24th October 2014

Drones are here to stay, but the government must do more to ensure greater public acceptance

Drones are here to stay, but the government must do more to ensure greater public acceptance
Description
On 16 October, the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, announced that part of the UK Reaper drone fleet would be deployed in Iraq to support coalition efforts against the terror group ISIL. This week, he confirmed they would also be flying surveillance missions over Syria. These events mark the first operational use of UK Reapers outside Afghanistan and represent a significant and timely development in the UK government's stated policy towards 'drone warfare'.
Date:
Friday 24th October 2014
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Recent blog posts

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