Research impact

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.

Current research projects across the School:

Governance for Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (Dec 2016 - Nov 2017)

The Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme has been funding research since 2007 and, as it prepares to close, it is funding a series of projects to synthesize findings and lessons from the projects it has funded over the years.

Nuclear Ethics and Global Security: Reforming the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

How far can an existing state-based international order be hospitable to the protection of individual and global security in a nuclear world? At a moment of profound crisis, uncertainty, and yet potential opportunity in the nuclear non-proliferation regime, this project will investigate possible paths for the reform and strengthening of the regime through an engagement with ethical and normative thinking in the fields of Philosophy and International Relations.

Understanding and managing intra-state territorial contestation: Iraq's disputed territories in comparative perspective (Jun 2015 - May 2018)

The project will make a contribution to enhancing our knowledge and understanding of one of the most significant disputes in Iraq – the contestation of a large swathe of land known as the 'disputed territories' that lie to the south of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR) and that are administered by the Government of Iraq (GoI), with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) demanding their incorporation into the KR.

Comparative political theory of the Cold War (Sept 2015 – Jul 2018)

This project intends to apply a new methodology for the study of political ideas in order to reread an event in contemporary history. The methodology is comparative political theory; the event is the Cold War. A view often expressed at present is that the Cold War 'is back', but this project suggests that the lessons of the original are still yet to be fully learned – the comparison in political ideas being the missing element.

The ideology of political reactionaries (Sept 2013 - Jul 2016)

Reactionaries are a political breed still little understood. What do they share with the mainstream Right? Have they changed? Why are they still here? This project is trying to develop a more integrated theory of reactionary ideology than is currently on offer – in particular, by using an analytical perspective focussed on rhetoric.

More research projects throughout the school.

Latest news

Posted 15 December 2016

Stop the drama: Italy's referendum outcome will not lead to the break-up of the EU

In the aftermath of Italy's referendum and of Matteo Renzi's resignation, a new government has taken office in Italy, led by former FM Paolo Gentiloni. What does the future hold for Italy and for the EU? Reflecting on media coverage of the referendum, Daniele Albertazzi takes issue with the hyperbole that has characterised much of the commentary, arguing that in spite of the country's many problems, Italy is still capable of holding a referendum without bringing the whole European edifice down.

Posted 14 December 2016

Why leadership matters

In order to avoid the anxiety of wondering about the 'what ifs' in life, humans have a tendency to think that things will carry on much as they did before. It's what psychologists term 'continuity bias'. However, 2016 is testimony to the fact that this assumption is not always reflective of events. This year, 'change' was the watchword and changes in political leadership characterised 2016.

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