Research themes

A series of broad research themes underpin the research activities of the School.

Comparative political systems and public policy

Key research groups:

Research projects:

(Not) Made in Germany? Imagining Germany from the Outside (Jan 2015 - Dec 2016)

(Not) Made in Germany? Imagining Germany from the Outside (Jan 2015 - Dec 2016)
Description
Through this project the IGS Birmingham will consolidate and expand its role as a primary hub for the support and inspiration of German Studies in the United Kingdom, as well as its reputation as a leading global research centre. The network will bring staff and postgraduate students from German universities and the worldwide DAAD German Studies Centres to the IGS in a series of five research visits focused around the core themes of the project.

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.

More information: Comparative political systems and public policy.

Governance and the state

Key research groups:

Research projects:

Select Committee Data Archive Project, 1979-Present (Mar 2015 - Sept 2016)

Select Committee Data Archive Project, 1979-Present (Mar 2015 - Sept 2016)
Description
The project will utilise quantitative methods to create and analyse a comprehensive dataset covering the membership, activities and outputs of Select Committees of the House of Commons from 1979 (the date of previous major reform) to the present in order to permit an evidence-based evaluation of the Wright reforms, as well as providing a valuable resource for understanding this vital venue for executive-legislative interaction and for parliamentary involvement in the development and scrutiny of policy.

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?

More information: Governance and the state.

International politics and security studies

Key research groups:

Research projects: 

(Not) Made in Germany? Imagining Germany from the Outside (Jan 2015 - Dec 2016)

(Not) Made in Germany? Imagining Germany from the Outside (Jan 2015 - Dec 2016)
Description
Through this project the IGS Birmingham will consolidate and expand its role as a primary hub for the support and inspiration of German Studies in the United Kingdom, as well as its reputation as a leading global research centre. The network will bring staff and postgraduate students from German universities and the worldwide DAAD German Studies Centres to the IGS in a series of five research visits focused around the core themes of the project.

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 information: International politics and security studies.

Social and political theory

Key research groups:

Research projects:

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

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

The ideology of political reactionaries (Sept 2013 - Jul 2016)
Description
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 information: Social and political theory.