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: 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

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:
Friday 24th October 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:
Friday 24th October 2014

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal
Description
Written by Dr Julie Gilson. In a country that has had nine leaders since 2000, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe appeared to have found the recipe for longevity. But the resignation of two ministers from his government has left him in serious trouble.
Date:
Thursday 23rd October 2014

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal
Description
Written by Dr Julie Gilson. In a country that has had nine leaders since 2000, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe appeared to have found the recipe for longevity. But the resignation of two ministers from his government has left him in serious trouble.
Date:
Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Ukraine steels itself for winter as Novorossiya forges ahead

Ukraine steels itself for winter as Novorossiya forges ahead
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). The EU-Asia Summit in Milan, Italy, delivered little, if any, tangible progress to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Relations between Russia and Ukraine's major European allies remain just a few degrees above a new Cold War-style ice age. And with only a preliminary gas deal achieved between Kiev and Moscow this may be quite literally true for Ukrainians as winter approaches.
Date:
Monday 20th October 2014

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff
Description
New Members of Staff in POLSIS Strengthen Coverage of European politics, international political economy and international relations.
Date:
Monday 20th October 2014

Albania-Serbia football drone farce shows Balkan nationalism is still a dangerous powder keg

Albania-Serbia football drone farce shows Balkan nationalism is still a dangerous powder keg
Description
Written by Dr Gëzim Alpion. Few thought that Serbia's Euro 2016 qualifying fixture against Albania on October 14 2014 would be an easy match. But the depths to which it sank are shocking even to those familiar with the potency of anti-Albanian feeling among Serbia's nationalist factions.
Date:
Thursday 16th October 2014

Bursaries for Postgraduate Study in POLSIS 2015/16

Bursaries for Postgraduate Study in POLSIS 2015/16
Description
For the Academic year 2014-15, POLSIS is pleased to offer a range of full and partial bursaries for both domestic/EU and non-EU students.
Date:
Wednesday 15th October 2014

ICCS Seminar Series 2014/15

ICCS Seminar Series 2014/15
Description
ICCS hosts a number of seminars throughout the year which focuses on a number of different topics. Listen to the latest podcasts from our recent events.
Date:
Tuesday 14th October 2014

International Development Forum, Autumn 2014

International Development Forum, Autumn 2014
Description
The International Development Forum is an initiative funded by the University of Birmingham Educational Enhancement Fund to provide an introduction to international development to students from across the University, at any level of study.
Date:
Tuesday 14th October 2014

Podcast: "The Responsibility to Protect" and the Unreasonable Veto

Podcast: "The Responsibility to Protect" and the Unreasonable Veto
Description
The roots of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) are to be found in the international community's attempts to navigate a route through UN Security Council (UNSC) inaction in the face of mass human rights atrocities. The likelihood of such inaction is exacerbated by the ability of UNSC Permanent members to veto actions which they oppose, but given the level of human suffering which characterises such crises, should this right of veto, unfettered by the UN Charter, be subject to some degree of constraint? Issues relating to this question are considered in 'The Responsibility to Protect and the "Unreasonable" Veto'.
Date:
Tuesday 14th October 2014

Birmingham Sociologist Invited to Keynote Lecture at the Ikon Gallery

Birmingham Sociologist Invited to Keynote Lecture at the Ikon Gallery
Description
Dr Will Leggett, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, has been invited to deliver a public lecture at the new Library of Birmingham as part of the Ikon Gallery's 'Those were the decades' 50th anniversary events.
Date:
Friday 10th October 2014
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Recent blog posts

Blog: The journey to the common: what is the role of the voluntary sector?

Blog: The journey to the common: what is the role of the voluntary sector?
Description
Written by Anna Coleman and Julia Segar. A recent publication by the New Local Government Network (NLGN) looked at how local councils are preparing for the future and suggests depressingly that "there is simply no way that local government can reach 2018 let alone 2020 while still delivering the full range and quality of services currently on offer"(p6). Simply put, we have an ageing population, with associated increasing demand for care services and draconian cuts in council budgets.
Date:
12/12/2014

Blog: The LGC100: what it does and doesn't measure

Blog: The LGC100: what it does and doesn't measure
Description
Written by Chris Game. I used, years ago, to have a whole Pol Sci 1 lecture about power and influence, their similarities and differences. By one of life's synchronicities, I've been reminded of it twice in the past week. Don't go – I'm not about to disinter it, although I will share the six-word summary that I could, if really pushed, get it down to: Power's a tool, Influence a skill.
Date:
05/12/2014

Blog: The future is Intercommunality – yes, but with whom?

Blog: The future is Intercommunality – yes, but with whom?
Description
Written by Chris Game. Rom com/date movies aren't really my thing, so my excuse for watching the recent Words and Pictures was that I was a captive plane passenger – and that the ever-watchable Juliette Binoche was playing a rheumatoid arthritic abstract painter and prep school art teacher. The title refers to the silly challenge she charily accepts from alcoholic poet turned plagiarising English teacher, Clive Owen, to 'prove' whether Words or Pictures are more meaningful.
Date:
01/12/2014

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