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: Take A Chance: Trust-Building Across Identity Groups

Podcast: Take A Chance: Trust-Building Across Identity Groups
Description
Speaker: Professor Andrew Kydd (University of Wisconsin). Trust is central to cooperation and it is often taken for granted that trust is higher among members of an identity group than between groups. However, apart from assimilation or creating new overarching identities, we lack a compelling explanation for trust-building.
Date:
Friday 22nd May 2015

Podcast: Violence, Civilization and Humanity

Podcast: Violence, Civilization and Humanity
Description
Speaker: Professor Andrew Linklater (Aberystwyth University). The ICCS Distinguished Lecture Series continues on the 18th May with a talk from Professor Andrew Linklater, arguably one of the 50 key thinkers writing in the field of International Relations today. Professor Linklater will discuss his recent research on 'Violence, Civilization and Humanity'.
Date:
Friday 22nd May 2015

Undergraduate Open Days - 26-27 June 2015

Undergraduate Open Days - 26-27 June 2015
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:
Friday 22nd May 2015

China and India sign US$22 billion in deals but tensions simmer under the surface

China and India sign US$22 billion in deals but tensions simmer under the surface
Description
Written by Dr Tsering Topgyal. Despite the emphasis on a mutually beneficial economic relationship, political and security concerns have the power to undermine cooperation between China and India.
Date:
Wednesday 20th May 2015

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

As refugee crisis deepens, the world is losing patience with South Sudan
Description
Written by Dr Jonathan Fisher. Africa's youngest country has been at war for 18 months, and its people are paying the price. Its neighbours and supporters aren't happy.
Date:
Wednesday 20th May 2015

University Showcases Dynamic Doctoral Researcher Community in POLSIS

University Showcases Dynamic Doctoral Researcher Community in POLSIS
Description
Last week doctoral researchers in POLSIS organized a colloquium and presented their latest findings to peers from across the University.
Date:
Tuesday 19th May 2015

IDD researchers share findings at OECD discussions on peacebuilding and statebuilding

IDD researchers share findings at OECD discussions on peacebuilding and statebuilding
Description
Heather Marquette leads a team of researchers from IDD who will present their work at the OECD this week. They will share findings with two INCAF Task Teams at discussions of the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals on legitimate politics and on revenues and services.
Date:
Tuesday 19th May 2015

Burundi teeters on the brink of civil war following coup attempt

Burundi teeters on the brink of civil war following coup attempt
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. An attempt by the incumbent president to change the constitution and run for a third term has exposed deep and dangerous divisions.
Date:
Monday 18th May 2015

Blog: A day for devolution

Blog: A day for devolution
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin. "The Cities Devolution Bill, with careful attention to principle as well as expediency and in the context of wider constitutional renewal, could just be the way to start to make that happen and help to address the wider devolution challenges which the UK faces following the General Election".
Date:
Friday 15th May 2015

Blog: The emergence of city regions

Blog: The emergence of city regions
Description
Written by Jon Bloomfield. The structures of sub-national government in the UK are about to undergo major change not just in Scotland but across the major conurbations. As George Osborne has said "In a modern, knowledge-based economy city size matters like never before."
Date:
Thursday 14th May 2015

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors
Description
Written by Chris Game. "You'd not have known it from the national media, either before Election Day or since, but the 650 parliamentary contests weren't the only ones taking place in the UK last Thursday. It was the year in local government's four-year election cycle that almost all English district and unitary councils – 279 of 293 – had elections, and there were votes too for six mayors, for many parish and town councils, plus the odd local referendum."
Date:
Tuesday 12th May 2015

The forgotten local elections – Conservatives defy predictions in council votes too

The forgotten local elections – Conservatives defy predictions in council votes too
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. Gains for the Tories and obliteration for the Lib Dems as councils are selected — sound familiar?
Date:
Tuesday 12th May 2015

Blog: The Ties that Bind: War, History and Power in and around Today's Russia

Blog: The Ties that Bind: War, History and Power in and around Today's Russia
Description
By Dr. Kevork Oskanian. It is difficult indeed to overstate the importance of victory day in Russia. In its solemnity, it is as close to a religious festival as any secular event could be. The Soviet Union was adept at filling the void left by its Marxist atheism with ritual and symbolism, and, more than on other days of the contemporary calendar, its imprint was still palpable on May 9th, 2015.
Date:
Tuesday 12th May 2015

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors

Blog: The other 1215 Charter: 800 years of elected mayors
Description
Written by Chris Game. "The LGA's Magna Carta web pages have recently featured a delightful homophone – sounds the same as another word, but different spelling and meaning. Among this summer's many MC commemorative events will reportedly be "a programme of inciteful lectures and talks" (my emphasis)."
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

Blog: Why the zero-carbon homes policy hasn't gone to plan

Blog: Why the zero-carbon homes policy hasn't gone to plan
Description
In this post, Max Lempriere, PhD Researcher at The Department of Political Science and International Studies discusses why the zero-carbon home policy has not gone to plan. First Published on The Conversation 15th April 2015
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

Blog: A marriage made in heaven?

Blog: A marriage made in heaven?
Description
Written by Catherine Staite, Director of INLOGOV. The ESRC, LGA and SOLACE have created a new role – that of Research Facilitator for local government – with the aim of supporting strong and productive relationships between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. I'm very pleased to take on that role, with the active support of the INLOGOV team of academics and expert practitioners.
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

DevoManc: a shrewd political move that keeps Treasury control without the responsibility

DevoManc: a shrewd political move that keeps Treasury control without the responsibility
Description
Written by Max Lempriere and Sam Warner, PhD Researchers in Political Science. Signed by the chancellor, George Osborne, and the leaders of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the latest twist in the DevoManc agenda was the unique agreement that purported to grant residents "more control over the decisions that affect their lives". Yet closer inspection suggests a more nuanced picture.
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

Blog: Preparing future leaders: The Total Leadership Programme

Blog: Preparing future leaders: The Total Leadership Programme
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin – Senior Associate Fellow. The Total Leadership Programme is an exciting new venture which is designed to help senior local government managers prepare themselves for a chief executive role. It's a partnership between INLOGOV and SOLACE, which fills a serious gap in provision nationally. It is open not only to directors in councils but also to people at a similar level within private sector firms who work in the public sector and who might be considering such a move too.
Date:
Thursday 7th May 2015

POLSIS Spring Seminar Series Discusses Major Topical Issues

POLSIS Spring Seminar Series Discusses Major Topical Issues
Description
The 2015 POLSIS spring seminar series focused on the crisis in Greece, the rise of populism, rhetoric and leadership, security, ethnic minority representation and the impending British general election.
Date:
Friday 1st May 2015

Prestigious best article prize for Birmingham sociologist

Prestigious best article prize for Birmingham sociologist
Description
Dr Will Leggett, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, has been awarded the Best Article 2014 prize by the leading journal Policy & Politics.
Date:
Friday 1st May 2015
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Recent blog posts

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