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:

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.

Networking for fisheries co-management on Lake Victoria, East Africa (Jun 2014 - May 2016)

Networking for fisheries co-management on Lake Victoria, East Africa (Jun 2014 - May 2016)
Description
This research will contribute to co-management theory and practice by investigating the personal networks of fisheries stakeholders to find out who, and what types of relationships, influence fishers' behaviour. Relationships to be investigated might include who is consulted to gain information on where to fish, to whom fishers turn to borrow money or find employment. Such relationships influence fisherfolk behaviour and, in turn, attitudes to and engagement with co-management.

The Future of American Power (Jan 2013 - Dec 2014)

The Future of American Power (Jan 2013 - Dec 2014)
Description
This is an ESRC Seminar Series running in 2013-14, with the aim of bringing together scholars of internationally-leading calibre from the United States and the UK for five all-day events to discuss the nature, causes and consequences of changes in the United States' dominance in the international distribution of power.

More research projects throughout the school

Latest research news

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

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

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