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.

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

Greek Election 2015

Greek Election 2015
Description
Dr George Kyris and Dr Sotirios Zartaloudis reflect on Syriza's victory in the Greek election and discuss what it might mean for the rest of Europe.
Date:
Thursday 5th February 2015

The cyber threat to the United Kingdom

The cyber threat to the United Kingdom
Description
Written by Gavin E L 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:
Thursday 5th February 2015

Podcast: The Greek Elections: Results and Implications

Podcast: The Greek Elections: Results and Implications
Description
The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) Departmental Seminar. Speakers: George Kyris and Sotirios Zartaloudis (POLSIS)
Date:
Thursday 5th February 2015

As its power grows, is the ECB overstepping its mandate?

As its power grows, is the ECB overstepping its mandate?
Description
Written by Dr Nicole Scicluna. The European Central Bank (ECB) symbolises the strange mix of politics and technocracy that marks EU governance. The bank was pushed to centre stage by the eurozone debt crisis and the unwillingness or inability of Europe's national governments to come up with timely solutions. Its rise as a political actor started while it was led by Jean-Claude Trichet, but it has become much clearer under his successor, Mario Draghi.
Date:
Thursday 5th February 2015

Ed Balls pledges £30 billion to English regions – and that's not all

Ed Balls pledges £30 billion to English regions – and that's not all
Description
Written by Chris Game. Two noteworthy things happened in Milton Keynes on Monday morning. Ed Miliband chaired the first meeting of Labour's English Regional Shadow Cabinet – comprising mainly leaders of councils and combined authorities. And, as a curtain-raiser, shadow Chancellor Ed Balls announced that, if Labour forms the next government, it will transfer £30 billion-worth of funding for housing, transport, business support, employment and skills training to England's regions.
Date:
Thursday 5th February 2015

International court upholds Srebrenica massacre verdicts

International court upholds Srebrenica massacre verdicts
Description
Written by Louis Monroy Santander. In 1995 the Bosnian Serb army killed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in what was known as the Srebrenica massacre. And after nearly 20 years and a ten-year legal battle, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has upheld its guilty verdicts against five of the men involved, confirming sentences of between 18 years and life for what has been judged to be a crime against humanity involving genocide.
Date:
Thursday 5th February 2015

Prime Evil: why South Africa is releasing Eugene De Kock

Prime Evil: why South Africa is releasing Eugene De Kock
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. The release of Eugene de Kock, former commander of the notorious Vlakplaas counterinsurgency unit responsible for numerous clandestine assassinations in apartheid South Africa, raises a number of critical issues with respect to justice in societies in transition.
Date:
Wednesday 4th February 2015

Blog: International court upholds Srebrenica massacre verdicts

Blog: International court upholds Srebrenica massacre verdicts
Description
Written by Louis Monroy Santander, PhD student in IDD, focusing on issues of reconciliation, post-conflict peace-building and social reconstruction in the Western Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo).
Date:
Monday 2nd February 2015

How stable is Saudi monarchy after King Abdullah's death?

How stable is Saudi monarchy after King Abdullah's death?
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. On 23 January, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah died at the age of 90 and was succeeded by his half-brother Salman, 79, one of the last sons of Saudi Arabia's founder Ibn Saud. The regime is keeping a watchful eye on dissent, including in the mainly Shia Eastern Province, and on internal security amid concerns over returning fighters from conflicts such as the Syrian crisis.
Date:
Friday 30th January 2015

Podcast: EU as an international security actor

Podcast: EU as an international security actor
Description
The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) Departmental Seminar. Speaker: Adrian Hyde-Price (Gothenburg), Discussant: Derek Averre (POLSIS/CREES).
Date:
Friday 30th January 2015

Explainer: what is Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia?

Explainer: what is Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia?
Description
Written by Dr Galina Yemelianova. The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has stirred debate about the future direction of the world's richest Arab state. That direction will be significantly coloured by how his brother and successor, King Salman, approaches Wahhabism – the religious sect that is at once an intrinsic part of the state and its biggest threat.
Date:
Friday 30th January 2015

Podcast: International Relations: All That Matters

Podcast: International Relations: All That Matters
Description
The talk introduced Professor Ken Booth's latest book, which seeks to provide an accessible but sophisticated understanding of international relations for those with no specialised knowledge of the field (which is almost everybody in the world).
Date:
Friday 30th January 2015

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq
Description
Written by Dr Christalla Yakinthou. Lebanon has always been a complicated jigsaw, but despite years of war, regional conflict, and meddling in its affairs, it has displayed a tremendous ability to absorb tension. But the threads that hold this fragile country together are rapidly starting to fray.
Date:
Wednesday 28th January 2015
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Recent blog posts

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:
24/04/2015

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:
24/04/2015

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:
24/04/2015

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:
13/04/2015