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.

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

Germanwings crash: the ins and outs of the two-person rule

Germanwings crash: the ins and outs of the two-person rule
Description
Written by Daniel Rio Tinto, Doctoral Researcher in POLSIS. It takes two people to launch a nuclear missile - it's time the same level of safety returned to the cockpit.
Date:
Monday 30th March 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:
Monday 30th March 2015

POLSIS academic interviewed by Turkish Weekly

POLSIS academic interviewed by Turkish Weekly
Description
Dr Marco Vieira shared his views with the Turkish Weekly on Brazil and the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine.
Date:
Thursday 26th March 2015

Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant

Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant
Description
Written by Chris Game, Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Next week is the last week of Hilary Term, or revision week at the end of Spring Term, as it's known here at the UoB and most other universities who feel no great affinity to the probably inappropriately named 4th Century St Hilarius of Poitiers. Over the many years in which I lectured undergraduates, I used rather to like it: end of the course/module in sight, legitimate chance to share and spread gossip about approaching local elections, lecture attendances boosted by students desperate for exam hints. Plus, nowadays, plenty of discussion-prompting visual aids – one of which is the pretext for this blog.
Date:
Friday 20th March 2015

Understanding the Post-Crisis Landscape: Assessing Change in Economic Management, Welfare, Work and Democracy

Understanding the Post-Crisis Landscape: Assessing Change in Economic Management, Welfare, Work and Democracy
Description
This seminar introduced a 6-seminar ESRC seminar series: Understanding the Post-Crisis Landscape: Assessing Change in Economic Management, Welfare, Work and Democracy. It highlighted and contested contemporary political economy approaches to macroeconomic management, welfare, work, and democracy, in the light of the global economic crisis - thereby setting the scene for four subsequent seminars to explore each of these themes in more depth.
Date:
Friday 20th March 2015

Ghana's democracy is driving great progress in health and education

Ghana's democracy is driving great progress in health and education
Description
Written by Alina Rocha Menocal, a senior research fellow at the Developmental Leadership Program. Despite weaknesses in accountability, Ghana's newly established political system has overseen dramatic improvements in basic services.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

INLOGOV Informs, Issue 7 - Spring 2015

INLOGOV Informs, Issue 7 - Spring 2015
Description
Research, Advice and support, Executive development and Postgraduate programme news from the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

He's back – but the power struggle around Vladimir Putin continues behind the scenes

He's back – but the power struggle around Vladimir Putin continues behind the scenes
Description
Written by Dr Adrian Campbell. The apparent disappearance of Russian president Vladimir Putin between March 5 and 16 provoked a festival of Kremlinological speculation on a scale not seen since the temporary ousting of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the abortive coup of 1991.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

Blog: In Crimea, Time for Pressure

Blog: In Crimea, Time for Pressure
Description
By Liana Fix - Associate Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting PhD Researcher at the University of Birmingham. Forgetting about Crimea and the fate of the Crimean Tatars means implicitly acknowledging Russia's claim to the region. Instead, the international community must demonstrate to Russia that its arbitrary interpretation of international law regarding Crimea has long-term consequences. We are not yet in a post-Crimea phase.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

Students get a first-hand view of working for the UN

Description
MA students Alice Vogliotti, Satish Gurung and Pui Thanaporn Wiboonpote travelled to Boston and New York for the Model UN conference and to visit UN Headquarters. When they returned to Birmingham they Skyped with an alumnus about the realities of working in the UN. This is a report of their experiences.
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015

Success of Sociology Highlights the Breadth of Expertise in POLSIS

Success of Sociology Highlights the Breadth of Expertise in POLSIS
Description
Sociology is an integral part of POLSIS and has demonstrated innovation, student engagement and high levels of student satisfaction
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015

Alumni profile: Following her heart led her to Helping Hands in Cambodia

Alumni profile: Following her heart led her to Helping Hands in Cambodia
Description
A final year POLSIS lecture sparked Lisa Morris's (BA Political Science and Sociology, 2008) interest in Cambodia and she now spends her days amongst the rice fields and coconut palms managing the NGO Helping Hands Cambodia.
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015

28 PhD theses successfully completed in the past year in POLSIS

28 PhD theses successfully completed in the past year in POLSIS
Description
Twenty eight Doctoral Researchers completed their PhDs during the past year in POLSIS. The theses covered topics in British politics, international studies, security, political economy, political thought and European politics.
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015

Study Trips, Simulations and Outside Expertise Enhance the Teaching in POLSIS

Study Trips, Simulations and Outside Expertise Enhance the Teaching in POLSIS
Description
Visits to Brussels, Participation at Model UN and NATO events and Classes Taught by Practitioners Enhance the Student Experience in POLSIS.
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015

Publications Show POLSIS at the Cutting Edge of Research

Publications Show POLSIS at the Cutting Edge of Research
Description
Academics in POLSIS have been very active in the past year, contributing to both scholarly publications and topical debates. Among the many highlights have been studies of the economic crisis, British politics, Russia and Eastern Europe and countless contributions to opinion-forming publications.
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015
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Recent blog posts

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

Blog: Recall – right for councillors, right for mayors

Blog: Recall – right for councillors, right for mayors
Description
Written by Chris Game. "The topical, and certainly most agreeable, purpose of this blog is to applaud the appointment of illustrator, cartoonist and writer, Chris Riddell, as the ninth Children's Laureate. The enviably talented Riddell has been The Observer's political cartoonist for 20 years and is also a writer and multi-award-winning illustrator of children's books. But before any of that fame and fortune, he generously provided easily the most eye-catching half-page in an INLOGOV undergraduate degree recruitment brochure.
Date:
12/06/2015

Blog: Metro mayors: this time at least feels different from 2012

Blog: Metro mayors: this time at least feels different from 2012
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Despite what service users doubtless feel on occasions, things can move quite fast in local government."
Date:
05/06/2015