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.

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:
Monday 18th August 2014

Is Boris Johnson a sop to the Tories' UKIP tendency?

Is Boris Johnson a sop to the Tories' UKIP tendency?
Description
Written by Dr Peter Kerr. There is a certain section of the Conservative Party – and not necessarily a minority – which has a penchant for self-destruction. This is the same section which takes its leadership cues from Nigel Farage rather than David Cameron; that section which has repeatedly frustrated the latter's attempts to modernise the party, while steadfastly drawing the leadership back towards the types of agenda, on Europe and immigration and so on, which proved so electorally damaging for the party throughout the noughties.
Date:
Monday 11th August 2014

The secret economic slowdown behind Putin's strategy for Russia

The secret economic slowdown behind Putin's strategy for Russia
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. If you want to understand the sometimes confounding moves played by Russian premier Vladimir Putin, then you could do worse than look at the accounts. On the face of it the country has seen 14 years of growth in the past 15, but that hides a persistent slowdown in the rate of growth. And although sanctions imposed over Ukraine have grabbed the headlines, the truth is that economic weakness in Russia is homegrown.
Date:
Monday 11th August 2014

Self-styled people's governor of Donetsk tells us: these areas have always been Russian

Self-styled people's governor of Donetsk tells us: these areas have always been Russian
Description
Written by Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University) and Professor Stefan Wolff. There are two competing and irreconcilable narratives about the crisis in eastern Ukraine that divide public opinion and media coverage in the region and the country – as much as they divide Russia and the West.
Date:
Thursday 7th August 2014

New Head of College takes up post

New Head of College takes up post
Description
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Saul Becker to the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences. Saul will join us in August 2014.
Date:
Tuesday 5th August 2014

Podcast: ASPA Roundtable on US Political Science

Podcast: ASPA Roundtable on US Political Science
Description
Roundtable with Professor Steven R. Smith, the American Political Science Association (APSA) Executive Director and a leading scholar on the non-profit sector, 29 July 2014, Chaired by Professor Chris Skelcher, INLOGOV, University of Birmingham.
Date:
Friday 1st August 2014

INLOGOV Summer Symposium 2014

INLOGOV Summer Symposium 2014
Description
This summer symposium brought together distinguished UK and international academics and leaders in the field of local government to share new ideas, creativity, evidence and experience on some of the major challenges for local government.
Date:
Thursday 31st July 2014

IDD 50 faces #12 - Professor Paul Jackson (1993-)

IDD 50 faces #12 - Professor Paul Jackson (1993-)
Description
IDD, or DAG as it was then, was a very different place when I joined in 1993. Many of the members of the department had been there for a long time and I was part of a drive to bring some youth in. I came in as a 'Teaching assistant' on a contract that funded a PhD and gave me a minimum number of teaching hours.
Date:
Wednesday 30th July 2014

Lack of trust and tit-for-tat escalation brings Ukraine to the brink of all-out war with Russia

Lack of trust and tit-for-tat escalation brings Ukraine to the brink of all-out war with Russia
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). The renewed escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, shows no sign of abating. Fighting in the east has continued both in and around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk and at the Russian-Ukrainian border where, according to reports, Russia has now started shelling Ukrainian military positions.
Date:
Tuesday 29th July 2014

Podcast: Israel is the only state taking the drone threat seriously – Professor David Dunn

Podcast: Israel is the only state taking the drone threat seriously – Professor David Dunn
Description
Professor David Dunn talks to The Bureau of Invesigative Journalism on a recent podcast saying that the biggest threat of drone technology is its potential use by terrorists and other non-state actors with "malign intent".
Date:
Monday 28th July 2014

The Conversation: Lack of trust and tit-for-tat escalation brings Ukraine to the brink of all-out war with Russia

The Conversation: Lack of trust and tit-for-tat escalation brings Ukraine to the brink of all-out war with Russia
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). The renewed escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, shows no sign of abating. Fighting in the east has continued both in and around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk and at the Russian-Ukrainian border where, according to reports, Russia has now started shelling Ukrainian military positions.
Date:
Monday 28th July 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:
Monday 28th July 2014

School of Government and Society hosts Foreign Office Seminar on EU Enlargement

School of Government and Society hosts Foreign Office Seminar on EU Enlargement
Description
The University of Birmingham organized a seminar with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as part of the Balance of Competences Review in the field of EU Enlargement.
Date:
Friday 25th July 2014

50 faces of CREES #53 - Dr Tim Haughton

50 faces of CREES #53 - Dr Tim Haughton
Description
I arrived in CREES in September 2003 initially on a three year contract to cover for Judy Batt, but have been here ever since, serving most recently as Director of CREES from 2012-14. In that post, it was a pleasure and an honour to initiate and lead the 50th anniversary celebrations (including arranging the 50+ faces of CREES!), particularly the special annual conference which so many CREESniki attended.
Date:
Friday 25th July 2014

Dr Tim Haughton hands over the Directorship of CREES to Dr Richard Connolly and Dr Jeremy Morris

Dr Tim Haughton hands over the Directorship of CREES to Dr Richard Connolly and Dr Jeremy Morris
Description
After two years as the Director of CREES, Tim Haughton hands the Directorship of the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies to Richard Connolly and Jeremy Morris.
Date:
Friday 25th July 2014

The Conversation: How harsher sanctions could help Putin turn Russia back into the Soviet Union

The Conversation: How harsher sanctions could help Putin turn Russia back into the Soviet Union
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. The downing of flight MH17 has caused attention to shift once again to the prospect of even harsher penalties being imposed upon Russia by Western countries. Up to this point, sanctions have been limited to individuals within or close to Russia's ruling elite, as well as a few associated companies.
Date:
Thursday 24th July 2014

IGS podcast: Ethics and the Holocaust

IGS podcast: Ethics and the Holocaust
Description
Speakers: Professor Marc Silberman, University of Wisconsin - Madison "The Ethics of Teaching Holocaust Violence". Justin Court, University of Wisconsin – Madison "The Ethics of Viewing Holocaust Violence".
Date:
Wednesday 23rd July 2014

IGS podcast: From Wars of Liberation to Star Wars: Friedrich Schiller's Pop Culture Legacy

IGS podcast: From Wars of Liberation to Star Wars: Friedrich Schiller's Pop Culture Legacy
Description
Speaker: Professor Jeffrey L. High (California State University Long Beach), "From Wars of Liberation to Star Wars: Friedrich Schiller's Pop Culture Legacy"
Date:
Wednesday 23rd July 2014

CREES renamed the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies

CREES renamed the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies
Description
The Centre for Russian and East European Studies has been renamed the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies.
Date:
Wednesday 23rd July 2014

Flight MH17 and Russia's 'little green men'

Flight MH17 and Russia's 'little green men'
Description
Written by Dr Kataryna Wolczuk. "The shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in Eastern Ukraine on 17 July has placed the conflict which has engulfed that part of Ukraine into an entirely new context. It has transformed the event from a localised, regional rebellion into a crisis that brings Russia's role into the open, writes Kataryna Wolczuk, of the Centre for Russian and European Studies."
Date:
Wednesday 23rd July 2014
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Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 1: creativity

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 1: creativity
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. I have called this blog series 'preaching to the choir' as it is dedicated to local authority chief executives and they already know a great deal about leadership. They wouldn't survive and thrive in their posts if they didn't.
Date:
24/10/2014

Blog: The Boko Haram ceasefire and violence in Nigeria

Blog: The Boko Haram ceasefire and violence in Nigeria
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. Amongst the violent international groups vying for our attention, Boko Haram in Nigeria has been one of the most persistent. Boko Haram declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014, and the group has been raiding several cities across the north.
Date:
24/10/2014

Blog: Can smart maps improve local government?

Blog: Can smart maps improve local government?
Description
Written by Walter T. de Vries. Local governments are increasingly making use of internet-based applications and social media to provide services and to interact with citizens. Are these applications however really helping local governments?
Date:
08/10/2014

Blog: Cinderella has been at the ball for more than a century and no one has noticed her!

Blog: Cinderella has been at the ball for more than a century and no one has noticed her!
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. Local government has struggled with the concept of localism for far longer than most of us might think. It has not just been the clarion call of localism from the Coalition Government since 2010 and the subsequence Localism Act that posed some pretty serious questions about the structure of our local democratic processes. The issue of connectivity between the citizen and the 'agent of the state' has been under academic scrutiny for a long time.
Date:
07/10/2014