Research

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The School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham is committed to the delivery of world-class research in political science and international studies. Established in 2008, the School comprises three Departments: Politics and International Studies (POLSIS); International Development (IDD) and Local Government Studies (INLOGOV).

A series of broad research themes underpin the research activities of the School.

Governance and the State
International Politics and Security Studies
Social and Political Theory
Comparative political systems and public policy

Current research projects across the School:

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

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?

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

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.

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

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.

Evaluation of Community Organisers and Community First programmes (Nov 2012 - Feb 2015)

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.

Coastal Ecosystem Services for East Africa

Coastal Ecosystem Services for East Africa
Description
This project draws on previous research experience, including from Swahili Seas, to find ways to increase the number of communities that can benefit from PES schemes and the range of ecosystems and ecosystem services that can be protected. A key concern in seeking to upscale pro-poor coastal PES schemes is the need to identify and understand potential barriers and supporting mechanisms within different levels of governance.

More research projects throughout the school

Latest research news

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:
Friday 23rd January 2015

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: 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

More research news throughout the School of Government and Society.

Departmental research:

International Development Department (IDD)

Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV)

Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS)

Research centres:

Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS)

Institute for German Studies (IGS)

GSDRC