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).

Latest research projects

Memorializing struggle: Dynamics of memory, space and power in post-liberation Africa (Sept 2016 - Sept 2019)

Comparing the experiences of South Africa under the ANC and Uganda under the NRM, this research project is concerned with public and social acts of memorialisation in post-liberation states and societies and how certain stories about the past are negotiated and contested.

The contentious politics of the census in consociational democracies (Feb 2017 - Jan 2019)

The project will explore the relationship between the design of political institutions and the likelihood of the census becoming the subject of contentious political debates – a relationship that has thus far received little attention from scholars.

Witchcraft and Conflict: Exploring alternative discourses of insecurity (Jul 2016 - Oct 2017)

This project focuses on exploring three sets of questions: how do African borderland communities understand and articulate security threats and in what ways does 'witchcraft' feature in these articulations? How do African and Western policy-makers, in turn, understand and articulate the major security threats faced by these communities and how far do they consider 'witchcraft' within this? Finally, how should Western researchers and Western/African policy-makers engage with these unfamiliar (in) security discourses, and what challenges does attempting to do so pose?

Towards a new (restraining) global consensus on the use of armed drones (Jan 2016 - Dec 2017)

This project – supported by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations – aims at securing a new normative consensus that delegitimizes the use of armed drones for targeting killing outside of recognized war zones. Such a consensus does not exist within Europe, between Europe and the United States, nor globally.

More research projects throughout the school.

School research themes

Latest news

Posted 24 April 2017

Italy's looming election: Will the Five Star Movement really form the next government?

Italy will hold its next general election no later than spring 2018, with Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement (M5S) currently ahead in most of the recent polling. Daniele Albertazzi argues that despite intense media speculation about what a victory for the M5S could mean for Italy and its participation in the euro, the picture is far from clear and could be altered substantially by current negotiations over the country's electoral law.

Posted 21 April 2017

Egypt faces rough times ahead: four points on the recent ISIS attacks

Written by Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas, Lecturer in Middle East Politics. In the most brutal attack against the Egyptian Coptic Christian minority in recent memory, ISIS bombed two churches on 9 April. At least 47 Egyptians were killed in Alexandria and Tanta, a small town in the Nile Delta. ISIS claimed responsibility for planting an explosive device under a seat at Tanta's Saint George's Church and for the suicide bombing at Alexandria's Saint Marks' Coptic Orthodox Cathedral – a few hours later. What does this mean for ISIS, the post-2011 Egypt, and its Coptic community, the largest Christian minority in the Middle East?

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