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.

Deaths in the Mediterranean are a direct result of ongoing crisis in north Africa

Deaths in the Mediterranean are a direct result of ongoing crisis in north Africa
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. The rapid escalation this year in the numbers of people drowned as they flee in leaky boats across the Mediterranean is a direct consequence of the conflict in Iraq, Syria and north Africa, specifically Libya – where the implications of the Western intervention are playing out in the deaths of thousands, whether from the violence itself or as they try desperately to escape to safety.
Date:
Tuesday 21st April 2015

Why the British election should be more like a student ballot

Why the British election should be more like a student ballot
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. Wednesday April 15 is Democracy Day. It's the start of the final coordinated push before the 2015 voter registration deadline on April 20. It was organised, like February's National Voter Registration Day, by Bite the Ballot, a not-for-profit community movement that aims to encourage young people in particular to reject Russell Brand's baleful "stop voting" gospel and make their votes count.
Date:
Monday 20th April 2015

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Research and risk-aversion in conflict-affected societies

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Research and risk-aversion in conflict-affected societies
Description
Speaker: Dr Suda Perera, Developmental Leadership Program. This seminar discusses the political and physical constraints affecting research within conflict-affected environments, and the growing trend towards remotely gathered data, through an autoethnography of research on armed group dynamics in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Date:
Monday 20th April 2015

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Policy integration and synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation in forest and agriculture

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Policy integration and synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation in forest and agriculture
Description
Speaker: Dr Monica Di Gregorio, University of Leeds. This study assesses the level of policy integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation in the forestry and agricultural sectors in Brazil and Indonesia, and explores barriers and opportunities to address trade-offs and achieve mutual benefits.
Date:
Tuesday 14th April 2015

Hillary Clinton announces presidential campaign: expert reaction

Hillary Clinton announces presidential campaign: expert reaction
Description
Written by Inderjeet Parmar, City University London; Clodagh Harrington, De Montfort University; Rosa Freedman, University of Birmingham; Russell Bentley, University of Southampton; Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham, and Tom Packer, University of Oxford. The worst-kept secret in American politics is finally out in the open. What now?
Date:
Monday 13th April 2015

Blog: Seventh Annual POLSIS Postgraduate Colloquium

Blog: Seventh Annual POLSIS Postgraduate Colloquium
Description
This all day event is a brilliant opportunity for staff and students to find out what the School's PhD students are working on, as well as an opportunity for all our PhD students and staff to get together and discuss ongoing research.
Date:
Monday 13th April 2015

Kenya attack: al-Shabaab's violent radicalism can't be tackled by force alone

Kenya attack: al-Shabaab's violent radicalism can't be tackled by force alone
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. The terrorist group al-Shabaab has claimed an attack on Garissa University College in eastern Kenya, in which an unclear number have been killed and many others taken hostage.
Date:
Friday 10th April 2015

Iran celebrates historic nuclear deal – all eyes now on supreme leader

Iran celebrates historic nuclear deal – all eyes now on supreme leader
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. Finally, after years of diplomacy and brinkmanship, the long-awaited nuclear deal with Iran has been done. There is jubilation in the streets as Iran's people, who have struggled under the weight of western sanctions for decades, are waking up to the prospect of a brighter economic future.
Date:
Friday 10th April 2015

Blog: Council Tax Support – anatomy of a Pickles' localism triumph

Blog: Council Tax Support – anatomy of a Pickles' localism triumph
Description
Written by Chris Game. Shortly before the dissolution of Parliament, Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles issued an apparently self-penned eulogy of his ministerial record, entitled on the Government's own website, in characteristic, cod Churchillian, style: Local Government: Delivering for England. It makes an interesting document, as would be hoped of one requiring two separate links.
Date:
Friday 10th April 2015

Are the Conservatives really about to increase minority representation?

Are the Conservatives really about to increase minority representation?
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. The Sunday Times recently ran a pretty incredible headline, claiming that in the 2015 election, "Tories may secure most ethnic MPs". This would represent a huge turnaround. Ten years ago – and 18 years after the all-Labour quartet of Dianne Abbott, Paul Boateng, Bernie Grant, and Keith Vaz had become the UK's first post-war black and minority ethnic (BME) MPs – the Conservatives didn't have a single one.
Date:
Thursday 2nd April 2015

Sociology Society Careers Conference 2015

Sociology Society Careers Conference 2015
Description
The Sociology Society hosted a careers conference on 04 February 2015. This event provided current students with the opportunity to meet alumni from a variety of careers including HR, PR/Marketing, Consultancy, Social Work, Law (in particular a postgraduate qualification) and Education.
Date:
Thursday 2nd April 2015

Blog: Authoritarianism and the securitization of development in Africa

Blog: Authoritarianism and the securitization of development in Africa
Description
Written by Jonathan Fisher, lecturer in IDD. Jonathan Fisher and David M. Anderson published the article: Authoritarianism and the securitization of development in Africa this January, 2015. We asked Jonathan what drives his research interest in this field and to address some of the issues captured in the article.
Date:
Thursday 2nd April 2015

Germanwings crash: the ins and outs of the two-person rule

Germanwings crash: the ins and outs of the two-person rule
Description
Written by Daniel Rio Tinto, Doctoral Researcher in POLSIS. It takes two people to launch a nuclear missile - it's time the same level of safety returned to the cockpit.
Date:
Monday 30th March 2015

Blog: The cyber threat to the United Kingdom

Blog: The cyber threat to the United Kingdom
Description
Written by Gavin Hall, Doctoral Researcher in POLSIS. When the new government takes office in May 2015 one of the first tasks will be to initiate a Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
Date:
Monday 30th March 2015

POLSIS academic interviewed by Turkish Weekly

POLSIS academic interviewed by Turkish Weekly
Description
Dr Marco Vieira shared his views with the Turkish Weekly on Brazil and the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine.
Date:
Thursday 26th March 2015

Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant

Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant
Description
Written by Chris Game, Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Next week is the last week of Hilary Term, or revision week at the end of Spring Term, as it's known here at the UoB and most other universities who feel no great affinity to the probably inappropriately named 4th Century St Hilarius of Poitiers. Over the many years in which I lectured undergraduates, I used rather to like it: end of the course/module in sight, legitimate chance to share and spread gossip about approaching local elections, lecture attendances boosted by students desperate for exam hints. Plus, nowadays, plenty of discussion-prompting visual aids – one of which is the pretext for this blog.
Date:
Friday 20th March 2015

Understanding the Post-Crisis Landscape: Assessing Change in Economic Management, Welfare, Work and Democracy

Understanding the Post-Crisis Landscape: Assessing Change in Economic Management, Welfare, Work and Democracy
Description
This seminar introduced a 6-seminar ESRC seminar series: Understanding the Post-Crisis Landscape: Assessing Change in Economic Management, Welfare, Work and Democracy. It highlighted and contested contemporary political economy approaches to macroeconomic management, welfare, work, and democracy, in the light of the global economic crisis - thereby setting the scene for four subsequent seminars to explore each of these themes in more depth.
Date:
Friday 20th March 2015

Ghana's democracy is driving great progress in health and education

Ghana's democracy is driving great progress in health and education
Description
Written by Alina Rocha Menocal, a senior research fellow at the Developmental Leadership Program. Despite weaknesses in accountability, Ghana's newly established political system has overseen dramatic improvements in basic services.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

INLOGOV Informs, Issue 7 - Spring 2015

INLOGOV Informs, Issue 7 - Spring 2015
Description
Research, Advice and support, Executive development and Postgraduate programme news from the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

He's back – but the power struggle around Vladimir Putin continues behind the scenes

He's back – but the power struggle around Vladimir Putin continues behind the scenes
Description
Written by Dr Adrian Campbell. The apparent disappearance of Russian president Vladimir Putin between March 5 and 16 provoked a festival of Kremlinological speculation on a scale not seen since the temporary ousting of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the abortive coup of 1991.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015
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Blog: Central African Republic takes a small step towards peace – but a leap is what's needed

Blog: Central African Republic takes a small step towards peace – but a leap is what's needed
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. The signing of a major peace agreement by ten rebel groups in the Central African Republic is a welcome step towards peace after years of violent chaos.
Date:
28/05/2015

Blog: As refugee crisis deepens, the world is losing patience with South Sudan

Blog: As refugee crisis deepens, the world is losing patience with South Sudan
Description
Written by Jonathan Fisher, lecturer in IDD. South Sudan has now been at war since 2013, with no end in sight. And while the two sides focus on defeating each other, the humanitarian situation on the ground is only deteriorating.
Date:
28/05/2015

Blog: Do select committees deserve 'universal praise'?

Blog: Do select committees deserve 'universal praise'?
Description
In this post, Dr Stephen Bates and Dr Mark Goodwin argue that a more rounded evaluation of Select Committees is needed to assess whether they deserve 'universal praise'.
Date:
22/05/2015

Blog: A new typology of local government systems

Blog: A new typology of local government systems
Description
Written by Pawel Swianiewicz. "Typologies of the European systems of local government are important and frequent point of reference for many scholars. But the trouble for scholars from my part of Europe is that the most popular classifications concentrate on Western part of the continent, totally disregarding the post-communist Central and Eastern Europe."
Date:
22/05/2015