Our latest blogs

The colour (and gender) of power
Chris Game As a blogger, I see myself as a kind of Middlesbrough in the Premier League: beigey. Not significant enough to attract the serious detestation of a Chelsea or Man United, but nor with the widespread likeability of a Bournemouth or Burnley. It means any feedback I receive is rarely obscene and generally supportive … Continue reading The colour (and gender) of power

Control freakery: Understanding who really gets to take control
Steve Rolfe When Michael Gove reiterated the Brexiteers’ mantra of ‘taking back control’ at the recent Conservative Party Conference there was a strong sense of déjà vu about the whole performance. And not just because we’ve all heard the ‘taking back control’ message over and over again in the last 18 months. The repeated rhetoric … Continue reading Control freakery: Understanding who really gets to take control

Measuring Mandates – Let’s at least use the facts
Chris Game Maybe it was a Monday morning thing.  But when last Monday’s Times – once, to foreigners at least, the ‘newspaper of record’ – recycled for the umpteenth time the claptrap about London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, having “the third biggest personal mandate of any directly elected politician in Europe”, my 16 months’ silent tolerance … Continue reading Measuring Mandates – Let’s at least use the facts

WMCA shouldn’t have to mean (almost) Wholly Male Combined Authority
Chris Game Combined Authorities, elected mayors, women’s representation, Greater Manchester CA, Liverpool City Region CA, West Midlands CA, Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram, Andy Street, Fawcett Society, Liverpool Women’s Leadership Group Combined Authorities have had a women problem – or rather, a lack-of-women problem – pretty well from their inception, and the much recycled picture of … Continue reading WMCA shouldn’t have to mean (almost) Wholly Male Combined Authority

Seeds of Change: English Devolution and Central-Local Relations
Sarah Ayres, Matthew Flinders and Mark Sandford  ‘England’s devolution deals do not constitute a move away from traditional patterns of central-local relationships, though they may contain the seeds of change’. That is the conclusion from our article, titled ‘Territory, Power, Statecraft: Understanding English Devolution’, recently published in Regional Studies. Much recent debate and commentary has been … Continue reading Seeds of Change: English Devolution and Central-Local Relations

The stardom of tsardom – but are policy tsars actually useful?
Chris Game I’d have bet money on at least one turning up in time for my recent round-up of the six Combined Authority mayors’ first 100 days.  We’re talking policy tsars, and I’d thought surely one CA mayor would see unveiling, say, a Homelessness or Youth Unemployment Tsar as an irresistible ‘First 100 Days’ publicity … Continue reading The stardom of tsardom – but are policy tsars actually useful?

Spending beyond Your Means during a Recession? Not So Much for Local Governments Constrained by Fiscal Rules
Lang (Kate) Yang The Great Recession, which started nearly a decade ago, may feel like a distant memory for some, as the United States economy is expanding for a ninth consecutive year. However, local governments in the nation still experience turmoil in their finances. National League of Cities’ 2016 City Fiscal Conditions report shows that city … Continue reading Spending beyond Your Means during a Recession? Not So Much for Local Governments Constrained by Fiscal Rules

All in A Day’s Work: Mental Health Provision, Wellbeing and Scrutiny in Brent Council
Cllr. Ketan Sheth As Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee at Brent Council, Cllr. Sheth has a behind the scenes look at the workings of local government. Here he shares his experience in trying to improve Brent’s mental health provision and his views on what good local authority overview and scrutiny looks like.  One in … Continue reading All in A Day’s Work: Mental Health Provision, Wellbeing and Scrutiny in Brent Council

Combined Authority mayors – their first 100 days
Chris Game My recent blog, endeavouring to mark our first six Combined Authority mayors’ 100 days in office by comparing their CAs’ corporate logos, was accompanied by a regret about not offering something more substantive. Prompted partly by the recent encouragement to prospective contributors to “accompany your blog, if possible, with a photo or image”, … Continue reading Combined Authority mayors – their first 100 days

Unlocking research for local government
Jason Lowther   This post originally appeared on the Solace website. You can find it here.  Local government needs evidence, from the apparently mundane but nonetheless critical (‘What choice of cladding will minimise the risk of fire spreading?’) to extraordinary insights (‘How do people choose what to eat and whether to be active?’, ‘What skills will … Continue reading Unlocking research for local government

Mo Ibrahim Foundation Annual Governance Weekend: Marrakesh 2017
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2017/05/mo-ibrahim-foundation-annual-governance-weekend-marrakesh-2017/

Leapfrogging – Myth or Reality? Can economic growth really be decoupled from increased carbon emissions in Least Developed Countries? Ethiopia’s Story
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2017/03/leapfrogging-myth-or-reality-can-economic-growth-really-be-decoupled-from-increased-carbon-emissions-in-least-developed-countries-ethiopias-story/

Decolonizing Education: Social Movements, Research Methods and my IDD dissertation experience
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2017/02/decolonizing-education-social-movements-research-methods-and-my-idd-dissertation-experience/

Witchcraft and conflict: Exploring alternative discourses of insecurity – Introducing a new research project
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2017/01/witchcraft-and-conflict-exploring-alternative-discourses-of-insecurity-introducing-a-new-research-project/

Why Russia, Turkey and Iran are natural allies
The ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran has opened the way to peace talks in Kazakhstan between the Syrian government and opposition. The Kazakh president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will play peacemaker and the timing of the conference will enable participation by the new US administration. But however the US fits in, the rise of a Russian-Iranian-Turkish triumverate is a hugely significant development.

UN finally apologises for bringing cholera to Haiti – now it must match its words with funds
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2016/12/un-finally-apologises-for-bringing-cholera-to-haiti-now-it-must-match-its-words-with-funds/  

The politics of the census in consociational democracies
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2016/09/the-politics-of-the-census-in-consociational-democracies/

Taking the ‘Unintended Consequences’ of Peacekeeping Seriously – How Haiti Has the Potential to Revolutionize World Politics, Again
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2016/08/taking-the-unintended-consequences-of-peacekeeping-seriously-how-haiti-has-the-potential-to-revolutionize-world-politics-again/

Governing Coastal and Marine Resources: Learning the Challenges of Multi-level Governance
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2016/07/governing-coastal-and-marine-resources-learning-the-challenges-of-multi-level-governance/

Five years after independence, violence still stalks South Sudan
The IDD blog has moved! Our blog is now located at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/ This article is now available at: https://blog.bham.ac.uk/idd/2016/07/five-years-after-independence-violence-still-stalks-south-sudan/