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: Ebola - where are the governments?

Blog: Ebola - where are the governments?
Description
Written by Dr Andrew Nickson. The terrible Ebola tragedy has spawned massive coverage in the world's media of Sierra Leone and Liberia – with harrowing images of victims, relatives, health workers, doctors, and aid agency staff. Yet one key 'stakeholder' in the fight against Ebola has been notably missing from this coverage – the government of both countries. Most of us would be hard pressed to name the presidents of either country* as they have been almost invisible, and the same goes for their respective health ministers.
Date:
Friday 21st November 2014

Tower Hamlets residents must be wondering why they bothered to vote

Tower Hamlets residents must be wondering why they bothered to vote
Description
Written by Chris Game. With a forced smile and through gritted teeth, Tower Hamlets' elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, has announced himself willing to accept – and even "welcome" – the intervention package set out for his borough by Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government.
Date:
Friday 21st November 2014

Blog: Pickles' Tower Hamlets takeover: a sad affair all round

Blog: Pickles' Tower Hamlets takeover: a sad affair all round
Description
Written by Chris Game. He kept Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, waiting until almost literally the 23rd hour of the 14th day of his two-week deadline. In the end, though, Tower Hamlets' elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, having last Friday lost his second, and ill-advised, application for a judicial review, was left with little choice.
Date:
Thursday 20th November 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