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.

Birmingham Pre-election debate on Immigration co-hosted by The Guardian

Birmingham Pre-election debate on Immigration co-hosted by The Guardian
Description
The Department of Political Science and International Studies/School of Government and Society co-host a pre-election debate on immigration with The Guardian.
Date:
Friday 1st May 2015

Pollsters v bookies: who's on the money in election 2015?

Pollsters v bookies: who's on the money in election 2015?
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. "Polls Apart!" used to be the cliché newspaper headline whenever two opinion polls about an impending election reported fractionally differing findings. For the 2015 election, they're rapidly running out of puns. The sense of frustration is palpable. Those polls keep coming, and none gives a clear idea of who will win.
Date:
Friday 1st May 2015

Fiona Nunan co-author of new Climate Compatible Development article

Fiona Nunan co-author of new Climate Compatible Development article
Description
New article in the Journal of Environmental Management demonstrates the economic benefit of a climate compatible development future for mangrove forests in Kenya.
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

Blog: The West Midlands – a bellwether for the election?

Blog: The West Midlands – a bellwether for the election?
Description
In this post, Cherry Miller discusses the key battleground seats and issues in the West Midlands. The original version of this post was published as part of the General Election 2015 series on the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog on 14th April 2015.
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

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

Why the zero-carbon homes policy hasn't gone to plan
Description
Written by Max Lempriere, PhD Researcher in Political Science. One of the UK's flagship sustainability policies is in big trouble. Less than a year from now, the theory goes, all new homes will be "zero-carbon". The reality is rather different. Economic meltdown, a housing crisis, pressure from developers and poorly designed legislation have all combined to leave the country way behind schedule.
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

What Britain should learn from Syriza and Greek eurosceptics

What Britain should learn from Syriza and Greek eurosceptics
Description
Written by Dr George Kyris, Lecturer in International and European Politics. The last few years have been remarkable for Greece's relationship with the EU. The bail-out agreements between the country and the EU-IMF, the interference of the latter two in domestic affairs and the imposition of austerity have caused a sharp rise in euroscepticism.
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

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

Blog: Deaths in the Mediterranean are a direct result of ongoing crisis in north Africa
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson, a political economist working predominantly on conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. A core area of interest is decentralisation and governance and it was his extensive experience in Sierra Leone immediately following the war that led him into the area of conflict analysis and security sector reform.
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

Blog: Make elections work for you: check the polls, but follow the money

Blog: Make elections work for you: check the polls, but follow the money
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Spoiler alert: this is a blog about elections, but not local elections – mainly because it's about election betting, and, with one conspicuous exception, which will be mentioned, our modern-day local election contests and candidates are rarely of sufficiently general interest to attract much serious fixed odds betting."
Date:
Friday 24th April 2015

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
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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