Research projects

Global reach

The combination of disciplinary strength and interdisciplinary effectiveness across the School allows colleagues to develop collaborative teaching and research projects, to generate research income and to further develop effective knowledge transfer activities.

Research themes:

Ongoing research:

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.

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.

The Western Framing of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: A Factor in Resolving the Conflict, or in its Perpetuation? (Jan 2014 - Jan 2015)

The Western Framing of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: A Factor in Resolving the Conflict, or in its Perpetuation? (Jan 2014 - Jan 2015)
Description
The project seeks to provide new first-hand data and insightful analysis into the process by which the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been framed through a comparative study of major existing British, American and EU political documents, English-language academic and journalistic works on the conflict, as well as through interviewing relevant EU and other Western policy-makers, British and other Western academics and journalists.

Enhancing Strategic Analytical Capabilities in NATO Partner Countries (Jan 2014 - Dec 2014)

Enhancing Strategic Analytical Capabilities in NATO Partner Countries (Jan 2014 - Dec 2014)
Description
The aim of this project is to contribute to building truly interactive and meaningful collaboration between academics from NATO and EU member states and partner countries in the Western Balkans and EaP area and to disseminate knowledge and understanding of current and new threats in these countries by promoting independent and critical thinking from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective.

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) (2013-2017)

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) (2013-2017)
Description
A prestigious international research initiative, the Developmental Leadership Program, has made its home at IDD with funding in place to continue its work for the next three years.

GSDRC: policy-oriented research (2001-)

GSDRC: policy-oriented research (2001-)
Description
For over a decade, IDD has led a cutting-edge research and knowledge management centre, GSDRC. This supports many aid agencies, synthesising the latest evidence and expert thinking to inform policy and practice. GSDRC provides applied knowledge services on demand and online, specialising in issues of governance, social development, humanitarian response and conflict.

Security-Democracy Nexus in the Caucasus (CASCADE) (2014-2016)

Security-Democracy Nexus in the Caucasus (CASCADE) (2014-2016)
Description
The CASCADE project will: 1.scrutinise Caucasian states and societies for the root causes of conflict and insecurity, 2.conduct synergetic research on democracy and security in the Caucasus, 3.analyse the links between the region and its wider neighbourhood, 4.provide forward-looking analysis on regional security and democratisation processes, and 5.develop a set of proposals on how the EU could enhance its role in the region.

Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures (2013-2015)

Description
This interdisciplinary project aims to map Russia's governance-related influences in the post-Soviet states in the 'common neighbourhood' with the EU.

Understanding the fiscal and regulatory mechanisms necessary to achieve CCD in the coastal zone (iCoast) (2012- 2014)

Understanding the fiscal and regulatory mechanisms necessary to achieve CCD in the coastal zone (iCoast) (2012- 2014)
Description
iCoast is investigating how to make climate compatible development (CCD) happen in coastal areas through different types, and combinations of, mechanisms. CCD refers to development that minimises the harm caused by climate change and that anticipates and maximises the benefits that could arise from a low-carbon future.

The Political Effects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on Conflict and Cooperation within and between States (2013-)

Description
This project will examine the impact of a recent and on-going development in science and technology (drones) on prospects for conflict and cooperation in countries where drones are deployed.

Shrinking the state: analysing the reform of arm's length bodies (2012-2015)

Shrinking the state: analysing the reform of arm's length bodies (2012-2015)
Description
This three year project will analyse the UK Coalition Government's major reform of 'arm's length bodies' (ALBs – often called 'quangos'). Quangos are a frequent focus for public, political and media criticism, regarded as unaccountable, wasteful, and self-serving. But they are also indispensible to modern government, preventing ministers from becoming overloaded, bringing expert advice and management to complex policy issues, and undertaking regulatory and quasi-judicial tasks that need to be politically independent.

Provision of Basic Services (2004-14)

Description
The overall aim of the research is to understand how the relationship between government and non-state providers is affected by their different perspectives on public action and how these in turn are affected by the relationship.

Interpreting International Relations / Interrogating Global Politics (2004-)

Description
The project questions the foundations of meaning in the discipline of International Relations, gesturing towards the idea of global politics as a more appropriate frame of reference for the ever-changing contemporary world.

Narratives of Violence in the North Caucasus (2003-)

Description
The aim of this project is to analyse political violence in the North Caucasus. Of particular interest is the way in which aspects of violence in the North Caucasus have inscribed narratives of identity and broader theoretical accounts of transversal politics.

Completed research:

2014

State Fragility and Rural Development (Jul 2013 - Mar 2014)

State Fragility and Rural Development (Jul 2013 - Mar 2014)
Description
Over the past year Dr. Martin Rew at IDD together with Dr. Markus-Schultze-Kraft of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, have been conducting research on 'State Fragility and Rural Development' for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (German: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung), abbreviated BMZ.

Ways of Knowing: Exploring the different registers, values and subjectivities of collaborative research (Feb 2013 - Jan 2014)

Ways of Knowing: Exploring the different registers, values and subjectivities of collaborative research (Feb 2013 - Jan 2014)
Description
This diverse inter-disciplinary project will draw together different perspectives produced through collaborative research generating a range of resources aimed at different audiences to inform the development of creative and reflexive collaborative practice.

2013

The Challenges to Trust-Building in Nuclear Worlds (2009-2013)

The Challenges to Trust-Building in Nuclear Worlds (2009-2013)
Description
Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler received a 3-year ESRC / AHRC fellowship to pursue the Trust-building in Nuclear Worlds project as part of the Global Uncertainties programme, which brings together the activities of the UK's Research Councils to better integrate current investments and to develop and support new multi-disciplinary research in response to global security challenges.

Community governance in a context of decentralisation (Nov 2012 - Apr 2013)

Community governance in a context of decentralisation (Nov 2012 - Apr 2013)
Description
This review will explore why these crucial concerns remain unresolved and consider creative responses to issues of demand, mobilisation, equity and risk.

Towards transformative co-production in local public services (Nov 2012 - Apr 2013)

Towards transformative co-production in local public services (Nov 2012 - Apr 2013)
Description
This review explore the tensions in thinking about co-production as a substitutive response to austerity and consider when, where and how citizens and professionals can work together to deliver transformation in local public services.

PEACE - Local Ownership and Peace Missions (2011 - 13)

Description
A team of researchers at IDD has won EU funding for a project that could help transform international peacebuilding and statebuilding missions. Dr. Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, supervised by Professor Paul Jackson and Dr Heather Marquette, has begun a two-year Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship that will deepen understanding of 'local ownership'.

Exploring the Role of the EU in Domestic Change in the Post-Soviet States (2011 - 13)

Exploring the Role of the EU in Domestic Change in the Post-Soviet States (2011 - 13)
Description
The project seeks to answer the following question: 'What role does the European Union (EU) play in domestic change in the post-Soviet states'?

Delivering renewable energy under devolution (2011 - 13)

Description
The research starts at an exciting time with renewable energy forming a central role in UK energy policy and the politics of devolution entering a new phase following the 2010 General Election.

Innovative Teaching and Research through Academic Partnership (2010 - 13)

Description
The project will seek to develop innovative educational and research links between The University of Birmingham and the Kazakh-British Technical University.

Paradoxes and Contradictions in EU Democracy Promotion Efforts in the Middle East (2008 - 12)

Description
This research project seeks to cast empirical and theoretical light upon an increasingly important aspect of international politics: attempts by the 'West' to export democracy to other regions. While acknowledging that the European Union (EU) is not the only actor with a democratisation agenda for the Middle East and that there are strategic reasons for the EU's involvement in the region.

2012

OECD 2011 Ensuring Fragile States are Not Left Behind (Oct 2011 - Feb 2012)

OECD 2011 Ensuring Fragile States are Not Left Behind (Oct 2011 - Feb 2012)
Description
The background to this Annual Report (since 2005) is increasing concern about the implications for international stability and development progress resulting from state fragility and the growing recognition that aid is one of many elements in the international effort in fragile states and that there are important linkages between activities that can and cannot be counted as ODA eligible.

International Perceptions and African Agency: Uganda and its donors 1986-2010 (2011 - 12)

Description
This project investigates the place of African states in the international system and seeks to understand what space exists for aid-dependent governments to exercise agency in relations with donors. In exploring these issues it focus on the case of Uganda's NRM regime which has enjoyed very substantial international support despite its increasingly authoritarian nature, destabilising regional policy and questionable human rights record.

The 2011 Multiparty Elections in Uganda: Towards a Consolidated Democracy (2010 - 12)

Description
This project will examine every aspect of the 2011 elections, including the role of international donors, party financing, security personnel, ethnic politics and socio-cultural phenomena, in an attempt to assess whether it represents a step towards a consolidated, multiparty democracy for Uganda.

Swahili Seas (2011 - 12)

Description
The Swahili Seas project is based in Gazi Bay, Kenya, and aims to link local coastal communities with global carbon trading to support the conservation of an area of mangrove forest in exchange for payments which will be used to support community development.

Beyond ethnicity? The politics of building national identity after conflict in Rwanda (2011 - 12)

Description
This project analyses strategies used to create 'new' national identities after violent ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and Rwanda and explores their implications. Both states experienced civil wars ended by a military victory and the substantial defeat of armed opposition within national territory. Post conflict governments in both states expressed an intention to promote a new national identity, replacing and de-legitimising ethnicity.

Male and Transgender Sex Work in the UK and Netherlands (2011 - 12)

Male and Transgender Sex Work in the UK and Netherlands (2011 - 12)
Description
The proposed research seeks to contribute to academic and policy debates about commercial sex by advancing empirical and theoretical knowledge in the under-explored area of male and transgender sex work.

SEANERGY 2020 (2010 - 12)

Description
he project is targeted towards regional and national authorities, EU decision-makers, planners, regulators, transmission system operators and marine renewable energy project developers.

Locating Legitimacy: Peacebuilding and the Politics of Space (2009 - 12)

Description
This research seeks to contribute to this emergent literature by sharing the insights of civil society organisations regarding effective ways to engage the UNPBC to ensure that all activities and policies are formulated and implemented with an awareness of how gender matters in peacebuilding and reconstruction.

The Quest for Peace: A Biography of Abba Eban (2009 - 12)

Description
The objective of this project is to complete a single-authored research monograph about the life of Abba Eban and his pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace. This project aims to provide a multi-level analysis of Middle East peacemaking through a substantive biography of Eban, Israel's foremost statesman.

African Actvism in the World Trade Organisation (2007 - 12)

Description
The research seeks to identify and critically analyse the bargaining strategies of African states in the negotiating processes during the current Doha Round.

A future for aid data: a south-south cooperation data categorization to complement on-going IATI categorizations (2010-2012)

Description
The project investigates the incentives and disincentives for non traditional donors to adhere to International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) categorisation and code of conduct and in the wake of such non binding IATI or OECD-DAC standards, what challenges and opportunities such donors bring to the IATI.

2011

Corruption indicators in Performance Assessment Frameworks (PAFs) for budget support (2012)

Description
This research examines the role of indicators focused on corruption within performance assessment frameworks (PAFs) for budget support, particularly in terms of their effectiveness in monitoring corruption at the macro-level, monitoring anti-corruption projects or institutions, and monitoring budget expenditures. It will be published as a U4 issues paper in early 2012.

Negotiating worker identity under post-socialism: an ethnographic approach (2010 - 11)

Description
The project will theorise, and provide a basis for comparative evaluation of, the impact of neoliberalism on the working class outside the normal.

Integrated Public Service Budgets (2010 - 2011)

Description
This research examines and establishes the costs and benefits of aligning or pooling budgets across activities, services, and organisations.

International Monetary Fund's Response to the Global Financial Crisis (2010 - 11)

Description
This research project will examine the response of the IMF to the global financial crisis, focusing specifically on an analysis and evaluation of changes to the IMF's lending practices.

Increasing UK Conflict Resolution Capacity (2010 - 11)

Description
Funded by the ESRC, this knowledge exchange project focuses on four key areas of conflict resolution capacity, identified in close consultation with key Whitehall stakeholders: early warning, conflict resolution, natural resources, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.

The future of political opposition in Russia's managed democracy (2009 - 11)

Description
The research adds to the existing academic debate on democratisation and will be of direct interest to Western policy-makers at a time of worsening relations between the West and Russia and growing Western concern with the nature of Russian democracy.

2010

The Impact of Local Authorities Supplying Legal Services to NHS Trusts (2010)

Description
This research, undertaken by Dr Peter Watt, examines the business case for such provision and the legal issues that arise in working in such a way.

International Terrorism-post-9/11 Comparative Dynamics and Responses (2008 - 10)

Description
This project considers comparative responses to international terrorism post 9/11 and contributes to current debates over state responses to political violence.

The Treasury under New Labour since 1997: the evolution of a British Institution (2007 - 10)

Description
The study will produce a politico-administrative anatomy of HM Treasury, the UK's finance and economics ministry, in its five roles: as a central department, ministry of finance, economics ministry, domestic policy department, and agency of foreign economic policy. Its role since 1997 will be placed in historical, ideological and global contexts.

The International Monetary Fund and the Diffusion of Global Economic Norms (2005 - 10)

Description
The project will examine the changing responsibilities of the International Monetary Finance in the aftermath of the global credit crunch, as well as how the organisation is likely to continue to evolve in the future.

Religions and Development (2005 - 10)

Description
The Religions and Development Research Programme Consortium is an international research partnership that is exploring the relationships between several major world religions, development in low-income countries and poverty reduction.

Older projects

A Study into Local Authority Charging for Non-Residential Social Care Services in Wales (2008 - 09)

Description
A review of the existing pattern of charges levied by Welsh local authorities for non-residential social care services and assessment of options for introducing more consistency into charging for these services across Wales.

The Business Case for Linkage Plus (2007 - 09)

Description
The research analysed the costs and benefits of a number of linkage plus pilot schemes across England and found that there are benefits to both taxpayers and older people from an holistic approach to service delivery, in which the voluntary and statutory sectors work together to improve access, remove duplication and overlap and share resources.

Small parties: influence and effect on democratic engagement and local politics (2006 - 09)

Description
Small parties are a vital way for local citizens to signal discontent to the local political elite, pursue a single-issue cause, focus on local concerns and enhance political accountability and engagement.

Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997 - 2007 (2007 - 08)

Description
The main objective of the project is to produce a detailed study of UK supported security sector reform (SSR) in Sierra Leone from 1999 - 2007

Social and Economic Impacts of Land Titling in Urban and Peri-urban Areas (2007 - 08)

Description
This study aims to assess the extent to which land titling programmes in developing country urban areas have achieved the outcomes and impacts claimed for them.

The democratic anchorage of governance networks in Europe (2006 - 08)

Description
The project will assist policy makers, public service managers, and citizens to develop the democratic aspects of their approaches to collaborative decision-making and service delivery. It is also linked to advanced training for PhD students in Europe (see PhD web pages).

Local Government in Post Conflict Zones (2007)

Description
Dr Paul Jackson was tasked with producing a background paper on local government reconstruction in post-conflict environments for the UNDP. This involved developing a literature review and leading on a seminar for UNDP representatives engaged in post-conflict environments.

Urban Families Under Pressure in Kenya and Zambia and the Impact of HIV / AIDS (2005 - 07)

Description
This research project investigated the impact of short-term shocks and long duration stresses due to economic decline and ill-health, especially HIV / AIDS, on the livelihood strategies of poor urban households and their wider social networks in Nairobi, Kenya and Lusaka and Ndola, Zambia.

Accountability impacts of the Local Government Modernisation Agenda (2003 - 07)

Description
This study analysed the accountability impact of the reforms of English local government since 1997. The project formed part of a long-term meta-evaluation of the Local Government Modernisation Agenda (LGMA).

The European Union and Border Conflicts (2002 - 05)

Description
The project seeks to understand whether and how the EU, through integration and association, can help to transform the nature of borders from lines of conflict to lines of cooperation.

Joint Evaluation of General Budget Support (1994 - 2004)

Description
To evaluate the impact of general budget support in reducing poverty in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Uganda and Vietnam.

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