Libya’s Arab Spring: What lessons for the EU?

While EU member states took leading roles the NATO operation in Libya, the role of the EU itself was limited largely to the provision of humanitarian assistance.  Despite a positive track record in crisis management missions and operations on three continents, the EU’s capacity to effect positive change in its southern neighbourhood remains in doubt, writes POLSIS’s … Continue reading “Libya’s Arab Spring: What lessons for the EU?”

Student Conference: Cosmopolitan Dimensions

Last week, POLSIS held its Second Annual Student Conference, an event organised for students, by students. It was a day to remember, writes POLSIS MA student and conference organiser Marianna Karakoulaki. On a rainy summer day on 7th June, students from the School of Government and Society gathered in Muirhead Tower, for the Second Annual … Continue reading “Student Conference: Cosmopolitan Dimensions”

Euro 2012 and the UK’s ‘Semi-boycott’

This post first appeared on e-International Relations England’s (not such a) shock-defeat to Italy may still be raw in the nation’s collective consciousness, but hey, look on the bright side: at least the government can stop agonising over whether ministers should attend the final. POLSIS’ Jonathan Grix explores the curious case of the UK semi-boycott … Continue reading “Euro 2012 and the UK’s ‘Semi-boycott’”

From Diana to the Diamond Jubilee: The Royal Family, Postmodern Pastiche and Consumerism

With the nation’s bunting safely packed away until the next ‘once in a lifetime’ event, POLSIS PhD researcher Alex Oaten reflects on what the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend tells us about contemporary consumerist culture. Being trapped in a weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations is tough when you are an ill tempered Republican, trying to find … Continue reading “From Diana to the Diamond Jubilee: The Royal Family, Postmodern Pastiche and Consumerism”

Migration, Marriage and Muscular Liberalism: Competing Claims But a Common Goal

This post was originally featured on Migration Pulse, the blog of the Migrants’ Rights Network. Two policies announced this week – the introduction of restrictions on family migration, and the criminalisation of forced marriage – highlight an instrumental use of human rights discourse by the Government to reinforce British sovereignty and citizenship, based on the … Continue reading “Migration, Marriage and Muscular Liberalism: Competing Claims But a Common Goal”

Rand Paul Supports Mitt Romney?!

Republican Senator Rand Paul, son of libertarian godfather Ron Paul, this month controversially endorsed Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidential nomination. POLSIS PhD candidate Jake Diliberto examines the consequences for Paul Sr.’s grassroots libertarians of what some in the movement see as an act of treachery by one of their favourite sons. This news is … Continue reading “Rand Paul Supports Mitt Romney?!”

Leadership, Diplomacy, and Institutional Design: A Model for Understanding the Arab Spring?

Across the Middle East and North Africa, the impact of the Arab Spring has been as varied as it has been profound.  Professor Stefan Wolff discusses three ‘essential ingredients’ that will determine whether regime transitions can be managed successfully. The Arab Spring has ushered in a new period of political development across the Middle East and … Continue reading “Leadership, Diplomacy, and Institutional Design: A Model for Understanding the Arab Spring?”

The banking union: a bridge too far for the City?

The European Commission backs it. The ECB backs it. The leaders of France, Italy, Spain, and (possibly) Germany back it. A ‘banking union’ may save Europe’s banks, but does it also spell the end for the single market in financial services? POLSIS PhD researcher Samuel McPhilemy examines the implications of the latest plan to resolve … Continue reading “The banking union: a bridge too far for the City?”

Staff 3-2 Students: Match Report!

On the 6th of June 2012, the teaching staff of POLSIS took on a select band of undergraduates in the annual football game. The POLSIS Blog dispatched football correspond Angus Nore-Hoghorris (who is totally impartial and has absolutely no conflict of interest with the staff team) for this once-a-year encounter. It was Friedrich Nietzsche who … Continue reading “Staff 3-2 Students: Match Report!”

Iran’s nuclear programme – videos uploaded

On April 25th, the University of Birmingham’s new Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security held an event to assess the options for cooperation and conflict surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme. Please note that this footage is of the speakers’ prepared remarks only. The Q&A in each session was held under the Chatham House Rule. Details … Continue reading “Iran’s nuclear programme – videos uploaded”