Deputy Foreign Minister of Albania, Dr Odeta Barbullushi, who studied for a PhD at the University of Birmingham spoke to staff and students about the security threats facing her country and the wider Western Balkans region.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. South Sudan's independence in 2011, which ended half a century of deadly conflict, was met with much praise. But a descent into civil war has led to dismay and suggests fresh thinking is required.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). Ukraine is giving Russia two options – and neither is likely to end well.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia come against a backdrop of increasing extremist violence across the world.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. An attempt by the incumbent president to change the constitution and run for a third term has exposed deep and dangerous divisions.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. The terrorist group al-Shabaab has claimed an attack on Garissa University College in eastern Kenya, in which an unclear number have been killed and many others taken hostage.
Written by Dr Adrian Campbell. The apparent disappearance of Russian president Vladimir Putin between March 5 and 16 provoked a festival of Kremlinological speculation on a scale not seen since the temporary ousting of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the abortive coup of 1991.
Written by Dr Adrian Campbell. For Russia to make peace with its troubled post-Communist history, it needs a 1990s hero to remember. Boris Nemtsov could be just that.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff and Professor Tatyana Malyarenko (Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University). . Just as the latest peace deal to stabilise Ukraine was being put into place, a bomb exploded in the city of Kharkiv, killing two people and injuring at least ten, while another was found and defused in Odessa.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. After all night talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk, the outcomes of the four party talks in the so-called Normandy format (Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany) have neither brought a major breakthrough or a complete disaster. As a deal, it is not a solution, but perhaps a step towards one.
The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) Departmental Seminar. Speaker: Adrian Hyde-Price (Gothenburg), Discussant: Derek Averre (POLSIS/CREES).
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Over the past few days, Ukraine has taken a significant turn for the worse. Fighting between rebels and government forces has intensified, the civilian death toll has increased, and the war of words between Ukraine and Russia has further escalated.
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. The recent crash in oil prices is causing much anxiety in oil-producing states. From Iran to Venezuela, many have come to rely on elevated oil prices to fuel economic growth and support government spending.
Dr Tim Haughton is a political scientist with a particular interest in electoral and party politics, the relationship between politics and government, the interaction between domestic and European sources of change, the relationship between Britain and the EU, the role of the past in the politics of the present and the domestic politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
Former PhD Student Odeta Barbullushi has been appointed Albania's new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Al-Qaeda's most active and notorious branch – the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – has claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. While some questions remain about the full credibility of the claim, it is not entirely implausible: it's been established that some of the attackers had been trained in Yemen, and at least one of them had met AQAP's former chief ideologue, Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born jihadist killed in a US drone strike in 2011.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. The deadly attack on a bus carrying civilians near Donetsk, killing at least 12 of them and wounding many more, comes in the wake of yet another round of failed talks among the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. It also follows a pattern of persistent violence between rebels and government forces that has made a mockery of a ceasefire agreement brokered between the two sides back in September 2014.
A roundtable on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, a presentation on the challenges and choices of the South Caucasus and participation at conferences in Baku highlight research strengths and interest in the Caucasus.
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Moldova has gone to the polls in a vote seen as crucial for determining the country's future direction. Preliminary results indicate that the pro-European parties together achieved about 44% of the vote, while those parties considered to be more pro-Russia came in with just under 40% of the vote, on a turnout of around 56%. These headline figures, however, mask a more complicated picture.
The Birmingham Doctoral Training Centre is one of only 21 across the UK to be accredited by the ESRC. It has 22 ESRC scholarships to fund doctoral research starting in 2015.