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.

Blog: Towards a people-centred language of demand management

Blog: Towards a people-centred language of demand management
Description
Written by Gavin Jones. I'm regularly asked to make presentations to groups of people (the last one being to 22 Deputy Lord Lieutenants!) to set out the issues and opportunities facing local government in the light of increasingly painful budget cuts. Of the pictorial slides I use to tell the story, the one guaranteed to have the greatest impact and make people hold their heads in their hands and mutter depressing words of despair is my 'motivational' slide that alarmingly shows demand outstripping resources at a frightening pace – often known as the '' or 'Map of Misery'.
Date:
Wednesday 11th June 2014

IDD recruiting Teaching Fellow

IDD recruiting Teaching Fellow
Description
Applications are invited for a ten-month position of Teaching Fellow with the International Development Department.
Date:
Wednesday 11th June 2014

DLP consolidates its partnership with La Trobe University

DLP consolidates its partnership with La Trobe University
Description
DLP consolidates its partnership with La Trobe University, Australia, this week. On 13 June, DLP's directors, Dr Heather Marquette and Dr David Hudson, will meet with members of La Trobe's Institute for Human Security and Social Change to share research findings and plan future collaboration.
Date:
Wednesday 11th June 2014

The Conversation: Watered-down recall bill proves MPs just don't get it

The Conversation: Watered-down recall bill proves MPs just don't get it
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Meaningless", "a stitch-up", "a breathtakingly cynical attempt to convey an impression of democratic reform" – this was how Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith reacted to his own government's announcement in the Queen's Speech that ministers would, after all, be introducing a recall of MPs Bill before the 2015 election.
Date:
Tuesday 10th June 2014

Birmingham academic injects new life in to civil society in Albania

Birmingham academic injects new life in to civil society in Albania
Description
Significant improvements to the economy of the Balkans region can be made if the Albanian government invests in a new €350 million road, argues an academic from the University of Birmingham. Dr Gëzim Alpion, Lecturer in Sociology, has instigated a petition for state leaders to meet their election promises and construct a highway linking Tirana with Dibra, one of the most impoverished regions in Albania.
Date:
Friday 6th June 2014

Saving Humans blog: Why transitional justice proponents say the field is important: The risk of leaving things as they are

Saving Humans blog: Why transitional justice proponents say the field is important: The risk of leaving things as they are
Description
Written by Dr Christalla Yakinthou. Continuing on from yesterday, generally, regardless of the focus, TJ presupposes that there is a significant risk in leaving things the way they are, after conflict.
Date:
Friday 6th June 2014

Podcast: The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad European elections edition

Podcast: The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad European elections edition
Description
The Politics @ Birmingham Podcast: Episode 04. This episode, we talk about the European elections of 22-25 May, which saw record highs for Eurosceptic and populist parties in several countries, including UKIP in the United Kingdom and the National Front in France. We discuss the reasons for this result, the extent to which it represents a Europe-wide backlash against Brussels, and its consequences for European politics.
Date:
Friday 6th June 2014

Saving Humans blog: Confronting legacies of violence after conflict: What is Transitional Justice?

Saving Humans blog: Confronting legacies of violence after conflict: What is Transitional Justice?
Description
Written by Dr Christalla Yakinthou. Transitional justice (TJ) is essentially a field that grew around a single question: how do you address the legacy of conflict-related violence and widespread human rights abuses? The first time that we as an international community really had to think about how to address the mess of war and the impact of genocide and what consequently became known as crimes against humanity was of course at the Nuremburg Trials in relation to the holocaust in the wake of World War Two.
Date:
Thursday 5th June 2014

Saving Humans blog: Consultation, Respect, and Inclusivity: DIY Democracy in Turkey

Saving Humans blog: Consultation, Respect, and Inclusivity: DIY Democracy in Turkey
Description
Written by Dr Christalla Yakinthou. Last week marked the first-year anniversary of the Gezi Park protests in Turkey. The following piece reflects on the protests and their meaning.
Date:
Wednesday 4th June 2014

Saving Humans blog: The concept and realities of post-revolution reform in Tunisia

Saving Humans blog: The concept and realities of post-revolution reform in Tunisia
Description
Written by Dr Christalla Yakinthou. Tunisian society has been engaging with both the concept and realities of post-revolution reform for the last three years. As last week's attack at the Tunisian minister of interior's house shows, the process has been hard going.
Date:
Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Guardian League Tables 2015

Guardian League Tables 2015
Description
In the latest Guardian University Guide 2015 The School of Government and Society performed very well with Politics appearing in the top 5 in the Guardian Politics league table.
Date:
Tuesday 3rd June 2014

INLOGOV briefing paper: Social Value Survey Report

INLOGOV briefing paper: Social Value Survey Report
Description
This report outlines the findings of a joint survey (carried out between August to mid October 2013) by the Society of Procurement Officers (SOPO), the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) and the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham on the impact of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.
Date:
Monday 2nd June 2014

Blog: Depoliticisation and the Father's Clause in Parliamentary debates

Blog: Depoliticisation and the Father's Clause in Parliamentary debates
Description
Dr Stephen Bates, Dr Laura Jenkins and Fran Amery, use work on in vitro fertilisation to think through depoliticisation. Our article argues that (de)politicisation may occur outside of formal governmental arenas and should not be regarded simply as a form of statecraft. Specifically, we explore in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and the parliamentary debates surrounding the addition and eventual removal of the Father's Clause of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Acts.
Date:
Thursday 29th May 2014

The Conversation: Both Labour and the Tories are pursuing a cynical 15% strategy

The Conversation: Both Labour and the Tories are pursuing a cynical 15% strategy
Description
Written by Chris Game. The "35% strategy" – the idea that a party could win the 2015 general election on 35% of the vote – entered political discourse last year, generally as a Conservative taunt directed at Labour. The 35% comprised Labour's supposed "core vote": the 29% it managed in 2010 and brought it 258 or nearly 40% of Commons seats – plus a guesstimated 6% for Lib Dem defectors.
Date:
Thursday 29th May 2014

The Conversation: NATO must take responsibility for spiralling violence in Libya

The Conversation: NATO must take responsibility for spiralling violence in Libya
Description
Written by Professor Paul Jackson. Libya has drifted out of our news recently, swamped and obscured by other conflicts. But the repercussions of the NATO intervention, and the subsequent failure of any credible central government to control the powerful militias, have led to a series of increasingly serious incidents.
Date:
Wednesday 28th May 2014

Blog: Building communities to bridge the gap

Blog: Building communities to bridge the gap
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin. England around halfway through significant reductions in public expenditure and heading for a 'new normal' at much lower levels, whilst seeing demographic and other pressures rise. Local Government is currently projected to see a £10.5bn funding drop between 2010 and 2020. Pressures on services are projected to rise by around £6bn, resulting in a £16.5bn total gap, under-resourcing services by around 30%. This average masks a wide variation – the LGA predicts that some of the poorest areas are projected only to be around 55% funded by 2020, whilst some shire districts will be 100% funded.
Date:
Tuesday 27th May 2014

Ash Green, Professional Development Module - Case Study Birmingham Children's Hospital (2014)

Ash Green, Professional Development Module - Case Study Birmingham Children's Hospital (2014)
Description
Careers Network Professional Development Module - Case Study Birmingham Children's Hospital. BA History and Political Science.
Date:
Tuesday 27th May 2014

Frederick Gulliford, Professional Development Module - Case Study House of Lords (2014)

Frederick Gulliford, Professional Development Module - Case Study House of Lords (2014)
Description
Careers Network Professional Development Module - Case study House of Lords. BA Political Economy.
Date:
Tuesday 27th May 2014

Eveniya Chalakova, Professional Development Module - Case Study Chamber of Commerce (2014)

Eveniya Chalakova, Professional Development Module - Case Study Chamber of Commerce (2014)
Description
Careers Network Professional Development Module - Case study Chamber of Commerce. BA International Relations with German.
Date:
Tuesday 27th May 2014

Saving Humans blog: 'Face-to-Face Encounters of the Diplomatic Kind'

Saving Humans blog: 'Face-to-Face Encounters of the Diplomatic Kind'
Description
Written by Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler. ). In my final blog today, I want to explore the proposition that I am developing at length in my new book that face-to-face encounters between leaders and top-level diplomats hold out the possibility of building trust across the enemy divide.
Date:
Tuesday 27th May 2014
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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:
30/10/2014

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:
28/10/2014

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:
27/10/2014

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:
24/10/2014