Keep up to date with the latest news and events from around the department and the wide-ranging projects our staff and students get involved with. More news throughout the School of Government and Society.

latest news

Posted 18 September 2015

Explainer: what is Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia?

Written by Dr Galina Yemelianova. The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has stirred debate about the future direction of the world's richest Arab state. That direction will be significantly coloured by how his brother and successor, King Salman, approaches Wahhabism – the religious sect that is at once an intrinsic part of the state and its biggest threat.

Posted 12 May 2015

Blog: The Ties that Bind: War, History and Power in and around Today's Russia

By Dr. Kevork Oskanian. It is difficult indeed to overstate the importance of victory day in Russia. In its solemnity, it is as close to a religious festival as any secular event could be. The Soviet Union was adept at filling the void left by its Marxist atheism with ritual and symbolism, and, more than on other days of the contemporary calendar, its imprint was still palpable on May 9th, 2015.

Posted 19 March 2015

Blog: In Crimea, Time for Pressure

By Liana Fix - Associate Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting PhD Researcher at the University of Birmingham. Forgetting about Crimea and the fate of the Crimean Tatars means implicitly acknowledging Russia's claim to the region. Instead, the international community must demonstrate to Russia that its arbitrary interpretation of international law regarding Crimea has long-term consequences. We are not yet in a post-Crimea phase.

Posted 17 March 2015

Nemtsov murder: Chechen theories shouldn't take heat off Putin

Written by Dr David White. Despite the detention of five suspects, speculation about who is responsible for the brutal assassination of Russia's former deputy prime minister and prominent opposition politician Boris Nemtsov continues unabated.

Posted 04 March 2015

Russia has lost an opposition leader of substance

Written by Dr David White. "The key challenge for Russia's broad opposition movement is to maintain consistently high levels of protest by mobilising passive opponents of the regime – not just as a response to specific events and outside of election periods."

Posted 26 February 2015

Podcast: Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership Birmingham Seminar

This Birmingham seminar for the Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership project, in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the UK and the University of Birmingham, took stock of recent developments in the EU's relationship with the countries in its eastern neighbourhood: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine.

Posted 23 February 2015

Moscow holds aces as bombing rattles shaky Ukraine ceasefire

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.

Posted 17 February 2015

The Soviet Union is dead! Long live the Russian economic union

Written by Dr Richard Connolly. Plummeting oil prices, conflict over Ukraine and the West's imposition of sanctions have contrived to send the Russian economy into a tailspin. But it is not just Russia that is suffering – the economic downturn is having a ripple effect well beyond its borders.

Posted 13 February 2015

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit – what next?

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.