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: Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership Birmingham Seminar

Podcast: Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership Birmingham Seminar
Description
This Birmingham seminar for the Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership project, in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the UK and the University of Birmingham, took stock of recent developments in the EU's relationship with the countries in its eastern neighbourhood: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine.
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015

IGS podcast: The Greenest Nation on Trial: German Environmentalism in Perspective

IGS podcast: The Greenest Nation on Trial: German Environmentalism in Perspective
Description
Speakers: Axel Goodbody (University of Bath), Silke Mende (Centre d'Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris), Frank Uekötter (University of Birmingham).
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015

Blog: The future is analogue – confirms local government's Honey Man

Blog: The future is analogue – confirms local government's Honey Man
Description
Written by Chris Game is a Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Of all the reactions to Northamptonshire County Council's controversial 'Next Generation Model' – abandoning service provision in favour of outsourcing everything to 'specialist social enterprises' – few can have been as measured and dispassionate as my colleague Ian Briggs' reflections on the merits or otherwise of Public Interest Companies (PICs).
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015

Blog: All eyes on Manchester

Blog: All eyes on Manchester
Description
Written by Catherine Needham, Reader in Public Policy and Public Management at the Health Services Management Centre. If you live in Birmingham, like I do, you could be forgiven for feeling slightly green-eyed at what is going on in Manchester at the moment. After the unprecedented devolution package that the city secured at the end of 2014, it has today been announced that Greater Manchester will be given complete control of its £6 billion NHS budget.
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015

How Israel's military stopped Netanyahu attacking Iran

How Israel's military stopped Netanyahu attacking Iran
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. A release of top-secret documents indicates that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has exaggerated – and possibly lied – with his repeated claims that Iran is on the brink of a nuclear bomb.
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015

Blog: Getting to Grips with Public Interest Companies

Blog: Getting to Grips with Public Interest Companies
Description
Written by ian Briggs. The recent announcement by Northamptonshire County Council heralding a move towards a 'next generation model' where four public interest companies are to be established to deliver front line services and leaving a core client organisation of around 150 employees adds to the growing number of councils (and other parts of the public sector) who are seeking to adopt this model. What is interesting here is that is goes far beyond the tired rhetoric of what is best, direct public provision or privatisation?
Date:
Tuesday 24th February 2015

New International Development masters degree in Environment, Sustainability and Politics

New International Development masters degree in Environment, Sustainability and Politics
Description
The International Development Department is pleased to announce the launch of a new MSc International Development pathway in Environment, Sustainability and Politics, delivered in conjunction with the Department of Political Science and International Studies.
Date:
Tuesday 24th February 2015

After 75 years, the Dalai Lama is more important than ever

After 75 years, the Dalai Lama is more important than ever
Description
Written by Dr Tsering Topgyal. It is three quarters of a century since the Dalai Lama's coronation as the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet. He is now almost 80-years-old and still presents a dilemma for Western leaders, who routinely come under pressure from Beijing not to meet him whenever he visits their countries.
Date:
Tuesday 24th February 2015

Moscow holds aces as bombing rattles shaky Ukraine ceasefire

Moscow holds aces as bombing rattles shaky Ukraine ceasefire
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). . Just as the latest peace deal to stabilise Ukraine was being put into place, a bomb exploded in the city of Kharkiv, killing two people and injuring at least ten, while another was found and defused in Odessa.
Date:
Monday 23rd February 2015

Podcast: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Current Discourses and Future Perspectives

Podcast: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Current Discourses and Future Perspectives
Description
This one day conference discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which is one of the most complex and protracted ethno-territorial conflicts in the post-Soviet space. It focused on the role of local and regional actors and the current political and academic discourses on the conflict.
Date:
Friday 20th February 2015

Blog: Pickles' Shock-horror News: Biggest Councils Have Biggest Tax Arrears

Blog: Pickles' Shock-horror News: Biggest Councils Have Biggest Tax Arrears
Description
Written by Chris Game, Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles is famed for his sensitive news antennae. I wonder therefore just what – in a week dominated by revelations of his party's and government's moral flakiness on the whole tax collection business – persuaded those antennae that it would be a good time to attack local authorities' tax collecting record.
Date:
Friday 20th February 2015

The Handbook of International Security and Development

The Handbook of International Security and Development
Description
The handbook is designed to give a comprehensive survey of the state of the art in current thinking on this issue and combines practitioners experiences with academic approaches. The Handbook includes a wide range of contributors, many of whom have links to IDD, such as Honorary Professor, Mark Duffield, and also several members of IDD and UoB staff, including Paul Jackson, Danielle Beswick, Laurence Cooley, Nicolas Lemay-Hebert, Heather Marquette and Rosa Freedman.
Date:
Friday 20th February 2015

Blog: Core Activities: notes from the Core Cities Summit, February 2015

Blog: Core Activities: notes from the Core Cities Summit, February 2015
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin, Associate Fellow of INLOGOV. On the 11th February over 300 people from across the public sector met for the Core Cities Summit in Glasgow. This post summarises the point reached so far and some of the conference's live issues, and suggests three areas for further consideration: how to involve MPs and MSPs more fully, engaging communities in the debate and considering what kind of country the UK should become.
Date:
Friday 20th February 2015

The Soviet Union is dead! Long live the Russian economic union

The Soviet Union is dead! Long live the Russian economic union
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. Plummeting oil prices, conflict over Ukraine and the West's imposition of sanctions have contrived to send the Russian economy into a tailspin. But it is not just Russia that is suffering – the economic downturn is having a ripple effect well beyond its borders.
Date:
Tuesday 17th February 2015

Labour talks tough on banking reform, but little will change

Labour talks tough on banking reform, but little will change
Description
Written by Dr Huw Macartney. Given the scandals, bonus increases and plummeting lending to small and medium-sized British businesses, reform of the banking system is likely to be a hot topic in the run-up to the general election. It is not surprising then that Labour has launched its plan on banking reform, which proposes measures to improve competition within the banking sector, lending to smaller businesses, and the culture of banking itself.
Date:
Tuesday 17th February 2015

Recent Media Appearances Highlight Strength of POLSIS Research

Recent Media Appearances Highlight Strength of POLSIS Research
Description
Numerous appearances by staff in the media show the strength and breadth of research in POLSIS.
Date:
Friday 13th February 2015

POLSIS Seminar on Greek Elections Highlights Expertise in POLSIS

POLSIS Seminar on Greek Elections Highlights Expertise in POLSIS
Description
A Special POLSIS Departmental Seminar Showcases the expertise of two new members of staff.
Date:
Friday 13th February 2015

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit – what next?

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit – what next?
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. After all night talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, the outcomes of the four party talks in the so-called Normandy format (Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany) have neither brought a major breakthrough or a complete disaster. As a deal, it is not a solution, but perhaps a step towards one.
Date:
Friday 13th February 2015

The international media is failing to report the Syrian war properly

The international media is failing to report the Syrian war properly
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. February 2015 has already seen some major developments in Syria's four-year conflict. At the start of February, rebels launched more than 100 rockets into Damascus and the Assad regime fired mortars on areas of its own capital, hoping to discredit the insurgents. At least six people were killed in the attacks.
Date:
Tuesday 10th February 2015

Why peace in Ukraine won't save the Russian economy

Why peace in Ukraine won't save the Russian economy
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande's push for peace in Moscow has helped fuel optimism about the prospects for Russia's spluttering economy. On the morning of the meeting, the rouble had strengthened against the dollar and the euro, and both the dollar and rouble-based sections of the Russian stock exchange saw sharp gains. Unfortunately for those in the Kremlin, however, Russia's economic woes are so deep-rooted that peace in Ukraine is likely to offer only temporary respite at best.
Date:
Monday 9th February 2015
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Recent blog posts

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:
13/04/2015

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:
10/04/2015

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:
02/04/2015

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:
30/03/2015