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: Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries Lecture

Podcast: Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries Lecture
Description
Speaker: Ms. Donna Guest, Senior Advisor on Southeast Asia at Institute for Human Rights and Business
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

Robert Keohane delivers lecture at the University of Birmingham

Robert Keohane delivers lecture at the University of Birmingham
Description
Leading International Relations (IR) scholar, Robert Keohane (Princeton), visited Birmingham last week (29 October 2014) and delivered a lecture as part of the POLSIS Seminar Series.
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

A View from Zaporizhzhia, SE Ukraine

A View from Zaporizhzhia, SE Ukraine
Description
Written by Duncan Leitch (CREES Doctoral Researcher).
Date:
Wednesday 5th November 2014

Was UK aid watchdog right to accuse DfID of failing to tackle corruption?

Was UK aid watchdog right to accuse DfID of failing to tackle corruption?
Description
Three academics give their thoughts on the Icai report, which said Britain is failing to address corruption in the countries it gives aid to. But what do you think? Written by Heather Marquette, Richard Mallett and Mick Moore.
Date:
Wednesday 5th November 2014

Recent PhD Success Highlights Strength of POLSIS Doctoral Research

Recent PhD Success Highlights Strength of POLSIS Doctoral Research
Description
Sixteen doctoral students gained a PhD in the past year in POLSIS.
Date:
Monday 3rd November 2014

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 3: courage

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 3: courage
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. Leadership is not a sprint – it's a marathon. You are in it for the long haul and that is why courage is so important. Maya Angelou argued that courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently and that is certainly evident in the role of chief executive. Not only do you need to keep yourself going through challenging times, you also need to be able to demonstrate courage to your staff and members. If you falter, so will they.
Date:
Friday 31st October 2014

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. Does this month's escalation in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank mean that a third intifada – a Palestinian uprising against the Israel's occupation, following those of 1987 and 2000 – is imminent? The latest events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prove that the next round could kick off at any moment.
Date:
Friday 31st October 2014

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off

Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and why a third intifada could be about to kick off
Description
Written by Dr Asaf Siniver. Does this month's escalation in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank mean that a third intifada – a Palestinian uprising against the Israel's occupation, following those of 1987 and 2000 – is imminent? The latest events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prove that the next round could kick off at any moment.
Date:
Friday 31st October 2014

Blog: Achieving better outcomes for the troubled family of local government

Blog: Achieving better outcomes for the troubled family of local government
Description
Written by Simon Parker. In this debate, Simon Parker (NLGN), Catherine Staite (INLOGOV) and Tony Bovaird (INLOGOV) agree that the current state of UK local government is unsustainable – but see different routes to rescuing a sustainable future.
Date:
Thursday 30th October 2014

Podcast: Hobbes's Dilemma and the Liberal Quest for World Order

Podcast: Hobbes's Dilemma and the Liberal Quest for World Order
Description
A joint POLSIS/ICCS distinguished lecture given by one of the world's leading experts on international relations. Chair: Dr Tim Haughton (POLSIS/CREES), Speaker: Robert O. Keohane (Princeton University), Discussant: Professor Nicholas Wheeler (ICCS, University of Birmingham).
Date:
Thursday 30th October 2014

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Researching change and continuity in rural Ethiopia: 20 villages over 20 years – the WIDE research project

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Researching change and continuity in rural Ethiopia: 20 villages over 20 years – the WIDE research project
Description
Speaker: Catherine Dom, Mokoro Ltd, WIDE Research Team.
Date:
Tuesday 28th October 2014

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 2: charm

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 2: charm
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. Charm is shorthand for a sophisticated set of skills which enable you to make new connections and solve old problems. Charm is about much more than being nice in a superficial way – otherwise known as 'smarm'. If you don't have real charm then just be gruff and honest. Everyone will understand. Smarm, on the other hand, will simply breed distrust.
Date:
Tuesday 28th October 2014

CREES Staff and Students discuss their research on the Caucasus in Ireland and France

CREES Staff and Students discuss their research on the Caucasus in Ireland and France
Description
Kataryna Wolczuk, Dr Derek Averre, Dr Kevork Oskanian and Nino Kemoklidze presented and discussed their research findings and ideas at the UACES 44th Annual Conference in Cork, Ireland and at a steering committee meeting of an international research project in Paris, France in September.
Date:
Tuesday 28th October 2014

Pro-Western bloc set for majority in elections that expose deep divisions in Ukraine

Pro-Western bloc set for majority in elections that expose deep divisions in Ukraine
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). Ukrainians have voted for a new parliament. The exit polls, in line with earlier predictions, indicate that the Petro Poroshenko Bloc – which also includes the UDAR party of Kiev's mayor, former boxing champion Vitali Klichko – came out on top (predicted to achieve around 23% of the vote), but will need partners to form a stable coalition that will give Poroshenko a majority in parliament.
Date:
Monday 27th October 2014

Blog: Postcard from Tokyo: local government remorse, Japanese-style

Blog: Postcard from Tokyo: local government remorse, Japanese-style
Description
Written by Chris Game. I've had the good fortune to spend the past week in Tokyo, as Japan commemorates the 50th anniversary of arguably the most geo-politically transformative Olympic Games, in the city that underwent a scarcely credible urban transformation in order to stage them.
Date:
Monday 27th October 2014

Assessing the State of the EU

Assessing the State of the EU
Description
Dr Tim Haughton participated in a panel in Brussels discussing the past, present and future of European integration.
Date:
Friday 24th October 2014

Drones are here to stay, but the government must do more to ensure greater public acceptance

Drones are here to stay, but the government must do more to ensure greater public acceptance
Description
On 16 October, the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, announced that part of the UK Reaper drone fleet would be deployed in Iraq to support coalition efforts against the terror group ISIL. This week, he confirmed they would also be flying surveillance missions over Syria. These events mark the first operational use of UK Reapers outside Afghanistan and represent a significant and timely development in the UK government's stated policy towards 'drone warfare'.
Date:
Friday 24th October 2014

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 1: creativity

Blog: Preaching to the choir: reflections on key leadership skills for local authority chief executives – part 1: creativity
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. I have called this blog series 'preaching to the choir' as it is dedicated to local authority chief executives and they already know a great deal about leadership. They wouldn't survive and thrive in their posts if they didn't.
Date:
Friday 24th October 2014

Blog: The Boko Haram ceasefire and violence in Nigeria

Blog: The Boko Haram ceasefire and violence in Nigeria
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. Amongst the violent international groups vying for our attention, Boko Haram in Nigeria has been one of the most persistent. Boko Haram declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014, and the group has been raiding several cities across the north.
Date:
Friday 24th October 2014

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal

Japan's Shinzo Abe will struggle to recover from ministerial scandal
Description
Written by Dr Julie Gilson. In a country that has had nine leaders since 2000, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe appeared to have found the recipe for longevity. But the resignation of two ministers from his government has left him in serious trouble.
Date:
Thursday 23rd October 2014
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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