‘Making politics practical’

Today’s blog is – I am afraid – something of a place-holder. As we speak, academics, policy-makers and practitioners from across the globe are meeting at Birmingham University to discuss how to turn ‘thinking politically’ into ‘working politically’. They will, I hope, provide some tentative answers to many of the questions raised in this week’s blog as well as highlighting important areas for future research and exploration. I am reluctant, however, to offer predictions on what these answers might be. Mindful of the ridicule aimed at the Chicago Tribune in November 1948 when it prematurely declared ‘Dewey defeats Truman’ (a few hours later it turned out to be the other way around), I will keep my forecasting to a minimum.

 Instead, might I direct you to the programme for today’s workshop where you can see for yourself the range of speakers and institutions involved  and the topics they will be speaking to. Let me also highlight the presentation Professor Sam Hickey from the University of Manchester will be making shortly after the workshop on ‘Taking Politics Seriously: From Development to Social Justice – part of the celebrations surrounding the International Development Department (IDD) here at Birmingham reaching its 50th year.

 A summary of both events and their key messages will follow on Monday!

Dr Jonathan Fisher is a Lecturer in International Development at the University of Birmingham.


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