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.

Jerusalem attacks are no isolated incident: the third intifada is here

Jerusalem attacks are no isolated incident: the third intifada is here
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. The attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in which four Jewish worshippers were killed and eight were injured has sparked new fears that fighting between Israel and Palestinian could flare up once more. The attack, by two Palestinians carrying meat cleavers and a gun, has the potential to kick off fresh religious confrontation and a third intifada.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 2014

IDD Guest seminar podcast: The Green State in Africa: Environmental politics, climate change and social movements

IDD Guest seminar podcast: The Green State in Africa: Environmental politics, climate change and social movements
Description
Speaker: Carl Death, University of Manchester.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 2014

Podcast: Russia and the West since 1991: a tale of growing distrust

Podcast: Russia and the West since 1991: a tale of growing distrust
Description
The high level of trust that had been constructed between western and Soviet leaders in the late 1980s and early 1990s was not sustained when western leaders had to face an independent Russia, even though the new Russia began with every intention of transforming itself into a full participating member of the international institutions set up after 1945 to keep the peace. However, Russians – not just their government – had come to view international institutions with profound distrust as having deceived them in both the economic and diplomatic spheres.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 2014

Abe can win Japan's snap election but he needs to win big

Abe can win Japan's snap election but he needs to win big
Description
Written by Dr Julie Gilson. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to call a snap election for December 14 comes after what has been a rather bad week for him. Japan has slipped back into recession for the first time since 2012 and Abe has seen his popularity ratings drop below 50% for the first time.
Date:
Wednesday 19th November 2014

Czechs and Slovaks still search for truth and love, 25 years after the Velvet Revolution

Czechs and Slovaks still search for truth and love, 25 years after the Velvet Revolution
Description
Written by Dr Tim Haughton. At the top of Wencelas Square on the front of the Czech National Museum in Prague hangs a giant poster depicting the playwright dissident and former president Vaclav Havel. The poster has been hung, in part, to mark 25 years since the Velvet Revolution, or as it is known to Slovaks, the Gentle Revolution.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Call for papers: DLP conference on the politics of inequality

Call for papers: DLP conference on the politics of inequality
Description
The 2015 Developmental Leadership Program Annual Conference will bring together the latest thinking on the politics of inequality.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Deciphering Obama's letter to the Supreme Leader

Deciphering Obama's letter to the Supreme Leader
Description
Earlier this week, it was reported by The Wall Street Journal that President Barack Obama had sent a secret letter to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging him to accept the terms of a comprehensive agreement with the United States and other major world powers on the issue of Iran's nuclear programme.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

25 years after the Velvet Revolution, Czechs and Slovaks still search for truth and love

25 years after the Velvet Revolution, Czechs and Slovaks still search for truth and love
Description
Written by Dr Tim Haughton. It's now 25 years since the Velvet Revolution, or as it is known to Slovaks, the Gentle Revolution. At the time, Czechoslovak citizens congregated on the square to jangle their keys and express their support for change. They were ready to end communist rule and move towards democracy.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Creating tomorrow's leading social scientists

Creating tomorrow's leading social scientists
Description
The Birmingham Doctoral Training Centre is one of only 21 across the UK to be accredited by the ESRC. It has 22 ESRC scholarships to fund doctoral research starting in 2015.
Date:
Monday 17th November 2014

Hezbollah and the West unite to fight IS? Don't hold your breath

Hezbollah and the West unite to fight IS? Don't hold your breath
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. The Shia militant group Hezbollah has suggested its fight against Islamic State has given it a common purpose with the West. In an interview with the BBC, Mohammed Fneish, a Lebanese Hezbollah minister, said the Sunni group is bad for Muslims and kills more of them than his party's original enemy – Israel.
Date:
Friday 14th November 2014

Blog: What legacy will the rush to build houses leave for the next generation?

Blog: What legacy will the rush to build houses leave for the next generation?
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. Many rural and semi-rural localities are struggling to cope with the increasing number of applications for potential new housing developments, a proportion of which seem to defy logic and sound planning sense when matched against local knowledge and established patterns of socialisation.
Date:
Thursday 13th November 2014

Fixing aid: we can't turn off the tap at the first sign of corruption

Fixing aid: we can't turn off the tap at the first sign of corruption
Description
Written by Dr Heather Marquette. Over the past 15 years, those working in aid have changed the way they talk about corruption. Detecting and measuring corruption when money is sent overseas has become a hot topic since the United Nations...
Date:
Tuesday 11th November 2014

Undergraduate module: Introduction to Problems of World History in the 20th Century - Professor Scott Lucas

Undergraduate module: Introduction to Problems of World History in the 20th Century - Professor Scott Lucas
Description
The aim of this course is to consider political, economic, social, cultural, and ideological issues --- both in the past and the present --- through an overview of developments in global history in the 20th Century.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

Undergraduate module: End of Empire: Problems of International History - Professor Scott Lucas

Undergraduate module: End of Empire: Problems of International History - Professor Scott Lucas
Description
The aim of this course is to consider the notion of the "End of Empires" and what it means about power from 1900 to the present. That power is not only the power of empires --- past and current --- but also of those who challenge those empires and pursued their own political, social, economic, and ideological objectives. The course will intersect with ideas such as nationalism, decolonization, internationalism, and globalization.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

Undergraduate module: International Security - Professor Stefan Wolff

Undergraduate module: International Security - Professor Stefan Wolff
Description
The aim of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the concepts and theoretical approaches central to understanding and analysing international security issues in the contemporary world.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

The big winner of the congressional elections is... Hillary Clinton

The big winner of the congressional elections is... Hillary Clinton
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. The new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, proclaimed his party would 'turn the country around' after Republicans gained seven seats in the Senate and extended its advantage in the House of Representatives. However, beyond the rhetoric, there may be a far different story and a different victor from Tuesday night's vote: Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee for the 2016 presidential election.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

Researchers contribute to Guardian debate on fragile states

Researchers contribute to Guardian debate on fragile states
Description
IDD's Siân Herbert and Suda Perera were among the expert panellists for a live Q&A on approaches to development in conflict-affected states on The Guardian Development Professionals Network website.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

In Ukraine, the start of a new Cold War that Russia can't win

In Ukraine, the start of a new Cold War that Russia can't win
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall that ushered in the end of communism in eastern Europe and the break-up of the Soviet Union, all the signs point to a new Cold War between Russia and the West.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

Research project: Network governance and low carbon transitions in European cities (Nov 2014 - Oct 2017)

Research project: Network governance and low carbon transitions in European cities (Nov 2014 - Oct 2017)
Description
How can European cities transition to a low carbon future? What are the governance challenges in creating environmentally sustainable cities? Can ideas about 'network governance' enhance adaption to climate change by improving interaction between citizens, businesses, associations and governments?
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

Research project: Do flexible institutions enhance democracy? A comparative analysis of public governance innovations in Brazil and the UK (Jul 2014 - Jul 2016)

Research project: Do flexible institutions enhance democracy? A comparative analysis of public governance innovations in Brazil and the UK (Jul 2014 - Jul 2016)
Description
The purpose of this exploratory research is to bring complementary expertise from the UK and Brazil to the analysis of democratic innovations - the global search for new ways in which societal, economic and cultural problems can be resolved through the direct involvement of citizens, civil society organisations, and other parties.
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014
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Recent blog posts

Blog: Shuffling the decks: quick fixes versus long-term stability

Blog: Shuffling the decks: quick fixes versus long-term stability
Description
Development Progress Blog. Ahead of the launch of our case studies on security progress in Liberia and Timor-Leste, Suda Perera writes on the risk that 'quick fixes' to violent conflict pose to development in the long-term. Taking the example of the Democratic Republic of Congo, she outlines the pitfalls of empowering warring parties and the challenging reality that good elections do not necessarily result in good democracy.
Date:
23/01/2015

Blog: The fairness (or otherwise) of the 2015-16 local government finance settlement

Blog: The fairness (or otherwise) of the 2015-16 local government finance settlement
Description
Written by Chris Game. In choosing to announce the 2015-16 local government finance settlement just eight days before Christmas, ministers presumably hoped – as, indeed, I'd expected – that the argument about the presentation of funding and spending cut statistics for local authorities, both collectively and individually, would have died away by mid-January. However, it hasn't, which is why I too am returning to the topic, which had its importance re-emphasised several times over the past week.
Date:
21/01/2015

Blog: Playwright, Prisoner and President: the Life of Vaclav Havel

Blog: Playwright, Prisoner and President: the Life of Vaclav Havel
Description
Written by Dr Tim Haughton, A review of Michael Zantovsky, Havel: a Life, London: Atlantic Books (2014). You only really appreciate someone when they have left. The death of Vaclav Havel in December 2011 provoked a week of mourning, warm and generous words from his political foes, and for many 'perhaps a rediscovery' of the man who had played so many different roles in his life: playwright, political prisoner and president (p. 14).
Date:
20/01/2015

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?
Description
Written by Max Lempriere. When it comes to setting sustainable construction standards new research reveals English local authorities favour national regulation over local powers.
Date:
19/01/2015