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.

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

Research project: Translation across borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process (Jan 2014 - Mar 2015)

Research project: Translation across borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process (Jan 2014 - Mar 2015)
Description
This project seeks to explore and suggest ways to address the frustrations which attempts to translate research into policy can bring. A focus of concern for academics is the fidelity of translation to their research findings. For policy-makers, the focus is often the function of the translation for the demands they are seeking to address.
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 2014

Blog: Local government - more appreciated than it often thinks

Blog: Local government - more appreciated than it often thinks
Description
Written by Chris Game. Someone asked me recently if, in those opinion polls that regularly monitor these things, net satisfaction with the government's record was ever positive. In other words, are there ever nowadays more of us satisfied than dissatisfied with those who govern us, or have we become, on balance, a nation of malcontents, whoever we happen to have elected?
Date:
Tuesday 30th September 2014

China and India's border dispute rises to dangerous new heights

China and India's border dispute rises to dangerous new heights
Description
Written by Dr Tsering Topgyal. On September 19 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." This does not explain why his soldiers entered Indian territory without authorisation on the first day of his visit.
Date:
Monday 29th September 2014

EU pragmatism has rewarded Russia's brazen trade bullying

EU pragmatism has rewarded Russia's brazen trade bullying
Description
Written by Dr Kataryna Wolczuk and Rilka Dragneva-Lewers. Few bilateral agreements have ever had such turbulent history and implications as the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.
Date:
Monday 29th September 2014

IDD Guest Seminar Series 2014-15

IDD Guest Seminar Series 2014-15
Description
The International Development Department hosts a number of seminars throughout the autumn term which focuses on a number of different topics. The seminars are open to everyone. Listen to the latest podcasts from our recent events.
Date:
Friday 26th September 2014

Exit, Voice and Loyalty in the Public Sphere: On the Hollowing Out of Universities and the 'Trojan Horse' Attack on the Muslim Community in the UK, By Justin Cruickshank and Ioana Cerasella Chis

Exit, Voice and Loyalty in the Public Sphere: On the Hollowing Out of Universities and the 'Trojan Horse' Attack on the Muslim Community in the UK, By Justin Cruickshank and Ioana Cerasella Chis
Description
Written By Dr Justin Cruickshank and Ioana Cerasella Chis. In the discussion below we will offer our definition of neo-liberalism as an elite project that hollows out education and communities; relating this to the questions of why academics are not usually public intellectuals and how the UK Coalition Government demonised a dialogic education offered by some schools in Birmingham with a majority of Muslim pupils.
Date:
Friday 26th September 2014

Blog: What skills does a 21st Century fire service need?

Blog: What skills does a 21st Century fire service need?
Description
Written by Dave Cross. Over the past twenty years the fire service, like many other public sector agencies has undergone radical change. Whilst the public's expectation of the fire service as a response based fire and rescue service remains the same, the organisational expectations of fire fighters has increased markedly. To quote a senior Greater Manchester fire officer "The job of a fire fighter nowadays has changed from not just putting out fires… to almost being a semi social worker".
Date:
Friday 26th September 2014

Blog: Devo max - what it is and why it won't happen

Blog: Devo max - what it is and why it won't happen
Description
Written by Chris Game. Devo Max – it sounds like a 99% efficient toilet cleaner, or a dodgy West Country car dealer, but either way I visualise its initials in upper case. And that's its problem. It's undoubtedly the 'must use' expression of the month. It's not complicated, like 'full fiscal autonomy' or the Barnett formula, so anyone feels able to drop it authoritatively into even casual conversation. And everyone has their own idea of what it is.
Date:
Thursday 25th September 2014

Things will never be the same again: reflections on the Scottish referendum

Things will never be the same again: reflections on the Scottish referendum
Description
Written by Professor Colin Thain. Whatever the outcome of today's referendum of 3.5 million voters in Scotland, Friday 19 September 2014 will be an epoch-making day in the politics of these islands. For once, the hyperbole is justified.
Date:
Thursday 18th September 2014

Ban pre-election opinion polls at your peril

Ban pre-election opinion polls at your peril
Description
Written by Chris Game. I really thought we might make it. We'd got past the publication of YouGov's potentially constitution-changing poll showing a minuscule lead for the Yes campaign without anyone grabbing for an easy headline by calling for opinion polls to be banned in the run-up to elections and referendums.
Date:
Thursday 18th September 2014

Scotland vote appears to be defying usual referendum swing

Scotland vote appears to be defying usual referendum swing
Description
Written by Chris Game. It seems Scottish voters are warming to the whole independence idea, then – bucking the trend that the experts have been telling us for months they're almost bound to follow.
Date:
Monday 15th September 2014
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Recent blog posts

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