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: Ethnic minority political representation in Britain: the end of the Race Relations Paradigm?

Podcast: Ethnic minority political representation in Britain: the end of the Race Relations Paradigm?
Description
The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) Departmental Seminar. Speaker: Maria Sobolewska (Manchester), Respondant: Dr Chris Allen (University of Birmingham.
Date:
Thursday 22nd January 2015

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?
Description
Written by Max Lempriere, Third year PhD student in POLSIS. National planning policy and building regulations have undergone considerable reform in recent years. The latest incarnation is embodied in the Housing Standards Review, (HSR) published in 2014. The HSR sought to consolidate the plethora of standards into national building regulations whilst making it harder to local authorities (LAs) to introduce standards that supplement these national regulations in response to local needs or priorities. One area where local powers have been significantly curtailed by the HSR is in the sustainability and energy efficiency of homes.
Date:
Wednesday 21st January 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:
Wednesday 21st January 2015

Podcast: Trust, technology and salvation: An investigation of President Reagan's nuclear speech

Podcast: Trust, technology and salvation: An investigation of President Reagan's nuclear speech
Description
Laura Considine is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Leeds. She received her PhD in International Politics from Aberystwyth University in 2014 and was a John W. Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress in Washington DC in 2011.
Date:
Wednesday 21st January 2015

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers
Description
Written by Chris Game. Chris reflects on those MPs leaving the Commons, adding to the standard categories of Seniority, Sin, or Stash.
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

Obama's National Security Strategy: Predicting US Policy in the Context of Changing Worldviews

Obama's National Security Strategy: Predicting US Policy in the Context of Changing Worldviews
Description
While the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a good predictor of an administration's policy, its declared strategic priorities are necessarily tempered by external reality, writes Dr Adam Quinn in a recent paper published by Chatam House.
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 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:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

Is Chechnya facing wave of jihadist violence?

Is Chechnya facing wave of jihadist violence?
Description
On 19 December 2014 BBC Europe News published an article by Dr Galina Yemelianova on recent Chechen bombing.
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

At last, a show of force tips odds against Boko Haram

At last, a show of force tips odds against Boko Haram
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. Suspected Boko Haram militants have attacked Northern Cameroon in another escalation of their now regional war against Nigeria, Cameron, Chad and Niger. In a cross-border attack, the militants kidnapped around 80 people.
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

Research video: Dr Tim Haughton

Research video: Dr Tim Haughton
Description
Dr Tim Haughton is a political scientist with a particular interest in electoral and party politics, the relationship between politics and government, the interaction between domestic and European sources of change, the relationship between Britain and the EU, the role of the past in the politics of the present and the domestic politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

IDD Guest seminar podcast: The world of our unmaking: Rethinking peacebuilding intentions, events and consequences

IDD Guest seminar podcast: The world of our unmaking: Rethinking peacebuilding intentions, events and consequences
Description
Speaker: Dr. Gëzim Visoka, Dublin City University
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Former Student Becomes Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister

Former Student Becomes Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister
Description
Former PhD Student Odeta Barbullushi has been appointed Albania's new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Corporeal Capitalism: The Body in International Political Economy

Corporeal Capitalism: The Body in International Political Economy
Description
New special section of the journal 'Global Society' on body politics in the global economy edited by University of Birmingham Senior Lecturer.
Date:
Monday 19th January 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:
Monday 19th January 2015

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers
Description
Written by Chris Game. All university admissions tutors know about single-termers. They are those students – some badly advised and intellectually bewildered, others more devious – who decide around mid-November that they want to change degrees, study elsewhere or just drop out. They're a pain, but higher education is a complex world and, after all, they are young. MPs, you might suppose, would be different. But in this parliament anyway, you'd be dead wrong.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch adds Paris attacks to list of successes

Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch adds Paris attacks to list of successes
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Al-Qaeda's most active and notorious branch – the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – has claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. While some questions remain about the full credibility of the claim, it is not entirely implausible: it's been established that some of the attackers had been trained in Yemen, and at least one of them had met AQAP's former chief ideologue, Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born jihadist killed in a US drone strike in 2011.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

New book chapter: contribution to 'The Politics of Inclusive Development'

New book chapter: contribution to 'The Politics of Inclusive Development'
Description
Senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin is one of the contributors to 'The Politics of Inclusive Development', published this month by OUP. The book is dedicated to the memory of the late Adrian Leftwich, DLP's founding Director of Research.
Date:
Thursday 15th January 2015

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. The deadly attack on a bus carrying civilians near Donetsk, killing at least 12 of them and wounding many more, comes in the wake of yet another round of failed talks among the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. It also follows a pattern of persistent violence between rebels and government forces that has made a mockery of a ceasefire agreement brokered between the two sides back in September 2014.
Date:
Thursday 15th January 2015

New book chapter: contribution to the 'Routledge Handbook of Political Corruption

New book chapter: contribution to the 'Routledge Handbook of Political Corruption
Description
The newly-published 'Routledge Handbook of Political Corruption' includes a contribution from DLP Director Heather Marquette in its section on new directions emerging in corruption research.
Date:
Tuesday 13th January 2015

Political Engagement and political alternatives in the age of austerity

Political Engagement and political alternatives in the age of austerity
Description
Scholars from Italy, Ireland, Germany and the UK attended a workshop in Birmingham examining political engagement and political alternatives in light of the current crisis affecting Europe.
Date:
Tuesday 13th January 2015
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Recent blog posts

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

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:
10/04/2015

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:
02/04/2015

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:
30/03/2015