Social Science and the World Cup
See our posting on whether social scientists can predict the winner!
- For more on Twitter reaction to the event see the statistics and visualizations on the Twitter Data blog.
Presidential Elections in Colombia
Elections took place in Colombia this week. Read our elections blog posting to get quick links to academic resources.
Iraq Syria and the Middle East: an essay by Tony Blair
Read the essay from Former British Prime minister Tony Blair on his official website to find out what he thinks Western governments should do.
Need to find out more about Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)? Try the starting points listed below.
- A good basic Profile of ISIS is on the BBC website
- The Washington Institute has a 2013 analysis which assesses how ISIS has gained a foothold in Syria. It also has up to date news and analysis of the current security collapse in Iraq
- Mapping Militant Organizations from Stanford University is a research project which traces the evolution of militant organizations and the interactions that develop between them over time. It has mappings of global Al-Qaeda and Iraq
- The Jihadology Website is personal project of Aaron Y. Zelin, Richard Borrow Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It serves as a clearing house for jihadi primary source material, including original analysis, and translations.
- For historic data try the Global Terrorism Database from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START), which is supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the University of Maryland. It has 146 incidents attributed to them from 1970-2012 (note later incidents not recorded here. ) These give details about the nature of the attack and casualties.
- The annual Country Reports on Terrorism from the U.S. State Department have more recent updates from 2013.
- Good sources of news and analysis on the current security situation include: Institute For War and Peace Reporting Syria archive which has coverage of groups within Syria. This includes insight from local media.
- The Iraq Blog from the Institute for the Study of War has regular daily updates on the situation with news about the role of ISIS
- The Rand blog also has military and security analysis from experts.
On a more positive note:
Global Peace Index 2014 released
This is compiled by The Institute for Peace and Economics and ranks 162 nations according to levels of peacefulness. The definition uses 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators, the full methodology of which are described on the website. These include military spending, homicide s and violent crime.
There is also separate UK index which compares regions. Measures used include violent
- Another useful website on this topic is the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Its website has research papers and datasets from the Journal of Peace Research.
Latest Report from Poverty and Social Exclusion Project
The shocking findings on rising levels of poverty in the UK were presented at a conference in London this week.
Also released this week from the Education Committee – Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children.
See more links to the latest full text social science think tank and UK government publications on our current awareness blog.
Do Fathers Want Shared Paternity Leave?
Interesting story this week from the BBC that fewer than 1 in 50 fathers are taking the new extra paternity leave. On this topic:
- The UK government website has official rules on the procedure and allowances.
- Department for Business and Skills also has some interesting research on employer perceptions of maternity and maternity leave from March 2014 . Other materials can be located by searching the site more generally. They have just offered some useful official guidance on how to do this effectively.
- The Institute for Leadership and Management has some reports on work place culture acting as a barrier to taking shared leave.
- Earlier materials from surveys of women can be found on the NatCent for Social Research.
- Also worth searching is the Work Foundation website which has blog postings and reports covering work and work culture
- From a different perspective the Fatherhood Institute has lists of resources (some online) which reference the need for increased paternity leave and its positive benefits
Cities of Opportunity
Interesting new report on urban demographics from PriceWaterHouse Cooper. Covers 30 major cities worldwide. It includes quantitative data on population and affordability as well as qualitative findings on what city dwellers want.
Other useful city data sources include:
- For the UK – try data and reports from the Centre for Cities. Their flagship publication Cities Outlook 2014- is an annual report on economic prospects covers 64 of the largest towns and cities in the UK.
- Mercer Quality of Living Index is a ranking of quality of life and personal safety for the top 50 cities worldwide, summaries available free of charge online.
- European Metromonitor project – LSE Cities Interesting site which enables you to examine and compare the impact of the financial crisis on individual European cities. Note you may have to download the latest version of your browser to view this! It has an interactive map of statistical data on economic output and employment in 150 of Europe’s largest metropolitan economies, from 1995 to 2012. It allows cross comparison of the impact on different EU nations and between city and other regions.
- Eurostat also has EU city data.
- UNHabitat is the main United Nations body for this area. Its key publications a wide range of topics ranging from urban infrastructure and sanitation, affordability of housing, urban development and social exclusion. They include The State of African Cities and The State of the World’s Cities. It also supports the Urban Lex urban law database which covers urban planning, development and finance policies and legislation worldwide and the Global Urban Observatory which has some GIS data relating to sustainability and development in cities.
- LSE staff and students might also like to try Euromonitor International Passport Cities which has socio-economic data on 85 cities worldwide
Global Consumption Database
Just launched by The World Bank and International Finance Corp (IFC) . Useful for finding data on how people in developing countries spend their income. Statistics are available by country, rural or urban location, income level. For India and South Africa regional data breakdowns are also provided. Topics covered include expenditure on health, ICT, food and education. Sources and methodology provided.
Show Me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the present
Fascinating online site created to support an exhibition. It presents anthropological, political, historical, literary and artistic viewpoints on the history of money, credit, banking and debt. curated by Peter Knight, Nicky Marsh and Paul Crosthwaite.It includes collections of recent images relationg to money credit and financial crises and juxaposes them with older satirical prints, art and photographs. Topics include the use of animals to depict financial markets
- Related to this topic from the Baker library Harvard University is the Coin and Conscience: Popular Views of Money, Credit and Speculation: Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. A Catalog of an Exhibition of Prints from the Arnold and S. Bleichroeder Collection, Kress Library of Business and Economics. See some money devils!
Be Inspired by some Award Winning Social Scientists.
See the prize winners of the ESRC Impact awards. They include impact on society, business and international development. Each has a video case study and references to associated articles.
Finally Fed up with Football ?
The Wall Street Journal has a World Cup of Everything Else for the participant countries. See who is the winner of the biggest eater of tree nuts!