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.

Researchers contribute to Guardian debate on fragile states

Researchers contribute to Guardian debate on fragile states
Description
IDD's Siân Herbert and Suda Perera were among the expert panellists for a live Q&A on approaches to development in conflict-affected states on The Guardian Development Professionals Network website.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

In Ukraine, the start of a new Cold War that Russia can't win

In Ukraine, the start of a new Cold War that Russia can't win
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall that ushered in the end of communism in eastern Europe and the break-up of the Soviet Union, all the signs point to a new Cold War between Russia and the West.
Date:
Monday 10th November 2014

Research project: Network governance and low carbon transitions in European cities (Nov 2014 - Oct 2017)

Research project: Network governance and low carbon transitions in European cities (Nov 2014 - Oct 2017)
Description
How can European cities transition to a low carbon future? What are the governance challenges in creating environmentally sustainable cities? Can ideas about 'network governance' enhance adaption to climate change by improving interaction between citizens, businesses, associations and governments?
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

Research project: Do flexible institutions enhance democracy? A comparative analysis of public governance innovations in Brazil and the UK (Jul 2014 - Jul 2016)

Research project: Do flexible institutions enhance democracy? A comparative analysis of public governance innovations in Brazil and the UK (Jul 2014 - Jul 2016)
Description
The purpose of this exploratory research is to bring complementary expertise from the UK and Brazil to the analysis of democratic innovations - the global search for new ways in which societal, economic and cultural problems can be resolved through the direct involvement of citizens, civil society organisations, and other parties.
Date:
Friday 7th November 2014

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
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Recent blog posts

Blog: The expansion of arms-length government is not necessarily at odds with democratic accountability

Blog: The expansion of arms-length government is not necessarily at odds with democratic accountability
Description
How democratic is arms-length government? Catherine Durose, Jonathan B. Justice and Chris Skelcher argue that those who consider it to be an undemocratic phenomenon over-simplify, and make the case for assessing the question in a more citizen and community focussed manner.
Date:
02/03/2015

Blog: The future is analogue – confirms local government's Honey Man

Blog: The future is analogue – confirms local government's Honey Man
Description
Written by Chris Game is a Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Of all the reactions to Northamptonshire County Council's controversial 'Next Generation Model' – abandoning service provision in favour of outsourcing everything to 'specialist social enterprises' – few can have been as measured and dispassionate as my colleague Ian Briggs' reflections on the merits or otherwise of Public Interest Companies (PICs).
Date:
26/02/2015

Blog: All eyes on Manchester

Blog: All eyes on Manchester
Description
Written by Catherine Needham, Reader in Public Policy and Public Management at the Health Services Management Centre. If you live in Birmingham, like I do, you could be forgiven for feeling slightly green-eyed at what is going on in Manchester at the moment. After the unprecedented devolution package that the city secured at the end of 2014, it has today been announced that Greater Manchester will be given complete control of its £6 billion NHS budget.
Date:
26/02/2015

Blog: Getting to Grips with Public Interest Companies

Blog: Getting to Grips with Public Interest Companies
Description
Written by ian Briggs. The recent announcement by Northamptonshire County Council heralding a move towards a 'next generation model' where four public interest companies are to be established to deliver front line services and leaving a core client organisation of around 150 employees adds to the growing number of councils (and other parts of the public sector) who are seeking to adopt this model. What is interesting here is that is goes far beyond the tired rhetoric of what is best, direct public provision or privatisation?
Date:
24/02/2015