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.

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:
Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Ukraine steels itself for winter as Novorossiya forges ahead

Ukraine steels itself for winter as Novorossiya forges ahead
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). The EU-Asia Summit in Milan, Italy, delivered little, if any, tangible progress to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Relations between Russia and Ukraine's major European allies remain just a few degrees above a new Cold War-style ice age. And with only a preliminary gas deal achieved between Kiev and Moscow this may be quite literally true for Ukrainians as winter approaches.
Date:
Monday 20th October 2014

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff

POLSIS Welcomes New Members of Staff
Description
New Members of Staff in POLSIS Strengthen Coverage of European politics, international political economy and international relations.
Date:
Monday 20th October 2014

Albania-Serbia football drone farce shows Balkan nationalism is still a dangerous powder keg

Albania-Serbia football drone farce shows Balkan nationalism is still a dangerous powder keg
Description
Written by Dr Gëzim Alpion. Few thought that Serbia's Euro 2016 qualifying fixture against Albania on October 14 2014 would be an easy match. But the depths to which it sank are shocking even to those familiar with the potency of anti-Albanian feeling among Serbia's nationalist factions.
Date:
Thursday 16th October 2014

Bursaries for Postgraduate Study in POLSIS 2015/16

Bursaries for Postgraduate Study in POLSIS 2015/16
Description
For the Academic year 2014-15, POLSIS is pleased to offer a range of full and partial bursaries for both domestic/EU and non-EU students.
Date:
Wednesday 15th October 2014

ICCS Seminar Series 2014/15

ICCS Seminar Series 2014/15
Description
ICCS hosts a number of seminars throughout the year which focuses on a number of different topics. Listen to the latest podcasts from our recent events.
Date:
Tuesday 14th October 2014

International Development Forum, Autumn 2014

International Development Forum, Autumn 2014
Description
The International Development Forum is an initiative funded by the University of Birmingham Educational Enhancement Fund to provide an introduction to international development to students from across the University, at any level of study.
Date:
Tuesday 14th October 2014

Podcast: "The Responsibility to Protect" and the Unreasonable Veto

Podcast: "The Responsibility to Protect" and the Unreasonable Veto
Description
The roots of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) are to be found in the international community's attempts to navigate a route through UN Security Council (UNSC) inaction in the face of mass human rights atrocities. The likelihood of such inaction is exacerbated by the ability of UNSC Permanent members to veto actions which they oppose, but given the level of human suffering which characterises such crises, should this right of veto, unfettered by the UN Charter, be subject to some degree of constraint? Issues relating to this question are considered in 'The Responsibility to Protect and the "Unreasonable" Veto'.
Date:
Tuesday 14th October 2014

Birmingham Sociologist Invited to Keynote Lecture at the Ikon Gallery

Birmingham Sociologist Invited to Keynote Lecture at the Ikon Gallery
Description
Dr Will Leggett, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, has been invited to deliver a public lecture at the new Library of Birmingham as part of the Ikon Gallery's 'Those were the decades' 50th anniversary events.
Date:
Friday 10th October 2014

Head of POLSIS Trains Diplomats in the Caribbean

Head of POLSIS Trains Diplomats in the Caribbean
Description
Professor David H Dunn participated in a diplomatic training programme for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for St Kitts and Nevis in Basseterre, in the Caribbean in late September 2014.
Date:
Friday 10th October 2014

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Hearing Local Voices in Peacebuilding

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Hearing Local Voices in Peacebuilding
Description
Speaker: Dr David Roberts, Loughborough University.
Date:
Friday 10th October 2014

China-India border tension risks escalating into more intense conflict

China-India border tension risks escalating into more intense conflict
Description
Written by Dr Tsering Topgyal. "Earlier this month the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, concluded a three-day trip to India. As he set off to meet Narendra Modi, Xi wrote in The Hindu that China and India "need to become co-operation partners."
Date:
Wednesday 8th October 2014

Blog: Can smart maps improve local government?

Blog: Can smart maps improve local government?
Description
Written by Walter T. de Vries. Local governments are increasingly making use of internet-based applications and social media to provide services and to interact with citizens. Are these applications however really helping local governments?
Date:
Wednesday 8th October 2014

Blog: Cinderella has been at the ball for more than a century and no one has noticed her!

Blog: Cinderella has been at the ball for more than a century and no one has noticed her!
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. Local government has struggled with the concept of localism for far longer than most of us might think. It has not just been the clarion call of localism from the Coalition Government since 2010 and the subsequence Localism Act that posed some pretty serious questions about the structure of our local democratic processes. The issue of connectivity between the citizen and the 'agent of the state' has been under academic scrutiny for a long time.
Date:
Tuesday 7th October 2014

Blog: Buying local votes? Campaign spending effects in Belgian local elections

Blog: Buying local votes? Campaign spending effects in Belgian local elections
Description
Written by Gert-Jan Put, Bart Maddens and Jef Smulders. In democratic countries worldwide, elections are being organized on an increasingly larger scale. This makes it more challenging for political parties and candidates to communicate with voters and reach their target groups. Alternatively, they resort to mass media and costly electoral campaigns, for which parties and candidates are often prepared to spend exorbitant amounts of money.
Date:
Monday 6th October 2014

Britain's first air strikes in Iraq - is there a strategy?

Britain's first air strikes in Iraq - is there a strategy?
Description
On 26 September, British parliament approved the Cameron government's request for authority to carry out air strikes inside Iraq on the Islamic State terror group. Four days later, two Tornado jets on an 'armed surveillance' mission dropped the first bombs, hitting a jihadist heavy-weapon position and an armed pick-up truck.
Date:
Friday 3rd October 2014

Why Brooks Newmark is a twit, but not a knit-wit

Why Brooks Newmark is a twit, but not a knit-wit
Description
Written by Chris Game. Two topics now compete for the opening paragraph in MP Brooks Newmark's political obituary. One is of course his hubris in thinking that a 26-year old woman – be she Tory or not – would be interested in photos of his genitalia. The other, though, are his thoughts, as the short-lived minister for civil society, about charities and knitting.
Date:
Thursday 2nd October 2014

CREES academic delivers talk at book launch

CREES academic delivers talk at book launch
Description
Dr Derek Averre of CREES spoke about Europe and the Ukraine crisis at a book launch at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) in Oslo.
Date:
Thursday 2nd October 2014

Blog: Local government: keepers of the moral compass?

Blog: Local government: keepers of the moral compass?
Description
Written by Catherine Staite. Barry Quirk's excellent article in the Local Government Chronicle highlighted the often overlooked role of local government as the guardian of pubic ethics.
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 2014

Research project: Evaluation of Community Organisers and Community First programmes (Nov 2012 - Feb 2015)

Research project: Evaluation of Community Organisers and Community First programmes (Nov 2012 - Feb 2015)
Description
The evaluation will assess the delivery and social impact of both programmes, providing continuous learning and relevant insights for programme development.
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 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