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.

Alumnus appointed to the post of Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, UN DESA

Alumnus appointed to the post of Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, UN DESA
Description
We were delighted by the news in November that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed alumnus Dr Lenni Montiel to the post of Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Date:
Monday 16th March 2015

IDD's researchers in 'the field'

IDD's researchers in 'the field'
Description
Academics from IDD are continuing to conduct important research across the globe. Current research focuses on Maoist combatant's transition to becoming civilians or soldiers in Nepal and mapping the personal networks of people working in the fisheries of Lake Victoria to investigate which personal relations influence fishing behaviour and knowledge.
Date:
Monday 16th March 2015

New book by Dr Fiona Nunan

New book by Dr Fiona Nunan
Description
Dr Fiona Nunan's 'Understanding Poverty and the Environment: Analytical Frameworks and Approaches' has just been published by Routledge and is a must-read for students and scholars of environment and development.
Date:
Friday 13th March 2015

Blog: Grubby-handed local politicians? It's called local democracy and devolution, Sarah!

Blog: Grubby-handed local politicians? It's called local democracy and devolution, Sarah!
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. The BBC's Radio 4 Today programme isn't what Americans would call a Hot Talk show, and nicely spoken presenter Sarah Montague, even in her own fantasies, is no shock jock. So listeners must have been slightly surprised to hear her, while questioning the proposed devolution of NHS funding to Greater Manchester's combined authority, talk of "local politicians sticking their grubby hands into the decision-making process".
Date:
Friday 13th March 2015

Prize Winning and Published Undergraduate and MA student in POLSIS

Prize Winning and Published Undergraduate and MA student in POLSIS
Description
One former undergraduate and MA student in POLSIS has not just won prizes, he has also published in a peer review journal before beginning his PhD.
Date:
Friday 13th March 2015

Model United Nations: Boston, United States, February 2015

Model United Nations: Boston, United States, February 2015
Description
The University of Birmingham sent a delegation of nine students to Boston as delegates at the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN).
Date:
Thursday 12th March 2015

Outside Experts Enhance Teaching at Birmingham

Outside Experts Enhance Teaching at Birmingham
Description
A former UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, a recently retired MEP and a current leading official from the European Parliament contribute to the teaching of students in POLSIS.
Date:
Thursday 12th March 2015

New book published on 'Queer Sex Work'

New book published on 'Queer Sex Work'
Description
Dr Nicola Smith, a Senior Lecturer in POLSIS, is the co-editor of a new book on 'Queer Sex Work', published by Routledge this month.
Date:
Thursday 12th March 2015

Podcast: Making sense of the Afghan Taliban and why they still matter

Podcast: Making sense of the Afghan Taliban and why they still matter
Description
The talk by Michael Semple provided an introduction to the thinking and politics of the Afghan Taliban Movement. It suggested that flawed understanding of the movement by other conflict actors has helped prolong the conflict in Afghanistan. It explored linkages between the Afghan conflict and the broader conflict in the Middle East and South Asia and consider the prospects for conflict transformation in Afghanistan. Michael Semple drew on his experience as a UN and EU official and as a mediator as well as current research.
Date:
Wednesday 11th March 2015

Gender gap shame leaves little to celebrate this International Women's Day

Gender gap shame leaves little to celebrate this International Women's Day
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. We're celebrating International Women's Day for the 107th time. It has a longer history than is often supposed and, as reflected in its still occasionally used Leninist title – International Working Women's Day – a more socialist one.
Date:
Tuesday 10th March 2015

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Succeeding to failure: Hybrid organizations and institutional complexity

IDD Guest seminar podcast: Succeeding to failure: Hybrid organizations and institutional complexity
Description
Speaker: Professor Royston Greenwood, University of Alberta.
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

IGS podcast: DEFA's Last Gasp: Melancholy and the End of East German Filmmaking

IGS podcast: DEFA's Last Gasp: Melancholy and the End of East German Filmmaking
Description
Speaker: Nick Hodgin (University of Lancaster)
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

Blog: International Women's Day and Britain's gender gap of shame

Blog: International Women's Day and Britain's gender gap of shame
Description
Written by Chris Game. Sunday sees the 107th celebration of International Women's Day (IWD), and for the 102nd year on March 8. It's a longer history than is often supposed and, reflected in its still occasionally used Leninist title – International Working Women's Day – a more socialist one.
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

POLSIS MA Study tour visit Brussels, January 2015

POLSIS MA Study tour visit Brussels, January 2015
Description
Every year all MA students based within POLSIS have the opportunity to take part in an study trip to Brussels. This year, Dr Derek Averre led a party of 30 master's students on the Brussels study tour to visit EU institutions and NATO on 18-21 January 2015.
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

New book on Paying Bribes for Public Services

New book on Paying Bribes for Public Services
Description
Extensive survey data based on interviews with 250,000 people in 119 countries underpin a new book on public service corruption co-authored by DLP research fellow Caryn Peiffer.
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

Training on fragility, statebuilding and peacebuilding

Training on fragility, statebuilding and peacebuilding
Description
Senior DLP Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal leads a day of training on fragility, statebuilding and peacebuilding at the Swisspeace Academy in Basel this week. This is part of swisspeace's Certificate of Advanced Studies in Fragility, Conflict & Statebuilding.
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

IGS podcast: The Germanification of European policy towards Russia: New German Power in the making?

IGS podcast: The Germanification of European policy towards Russia: New German Power in the making?
Description
Speaker: Liana Fix (Justus Liebig University, Giessen)
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

Why Iran's Supreme Leader may yet swallow a bitter nuclear deal

Why Iran's Supreme Leader may yet swallow a bitter nuclear deal
Description
Written by Professor Scott Lucas. Iran is being pushed to the edge by sanctions over its nuclear programme. Will its dying Supreme Leader cave to the pressure?
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

Blog: What is local government for?

Blog: What is local government for?
Description
Written by Howard Elcock. Do we know what local government is for? Is it just a device for providing services to people at the behest of the central government, or does it provide local citizens with a means of making policy choices about what they want their councils to do?
Date:
Thursday 5th March 2015

Blog: Gender & the Research Excellence Framework: An Analysis of the Politics & International Studies Unit of Assessment (I)

Blog: Gender & the Research Excellence Framework: An Analysis of the Politics & International Studies Unit of Assessment (I)
Description
Written by Dr Fran Amery, Dr Stephen Bates and Professor Steve McKay . Ever wondered about the gendered dimensions of the REF returns and rankings for the Politics & International Studies Unit of Assessment? Well wonder no longer.
Date:
Thursday 5th 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