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.

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

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff
Description
Recent appointments in POLSIS have strengthened coverage of European politics, international political economy and international relations.
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015

Nemtsov murder: Chechen theories shouldn't take heat off Putin

Nemtsov murder: Chechen theories shouldn't take heat off Putin
Description
Written by Dr David White. Despite the detention of five suspects, speculation about who is responsible for the brutal assassination of Russia's former deputy prime minister and prominent opposition politician Boris Nemtsov continues unabated.
Date:
Tuesday 17th March 2015

News from the GSDRC

News from the GSDRC
Description
The Governance and Social Development Resource Centre's (GSDRC) new series of Professional Development Reading Packs provides thought-provoking introductions to key issues by international experts.
Date:
Monday 16th March 2015

DLP Annual Conference 2015: The Politics of Inequality

DLP Annual Conference 2015: The Politics of Inequality
Description
On Thursday 12 February 2015, the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) held its 2015 Annual Conference on the theme of the politics of inequality, at the University of Birmingham.
Date:
Monday 16th March 2015

Students gain experience through conflict simulation

Students gain experience through conflict simulation
Description
In March 2015, IDD, in collaboration with Responding to Conflict – a Birmingham-based NGO working on conflict resolution – ran a full day conflict simulation for the students of the module Conflict, Humanitarian Aid and Social Reconstruction.
Date:
Monday 16th March 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