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Politics - 16.10.2019
Renewing Political Speech and Speech writing report launched at Parliament
Politicians need to get people to trust them more if they want their speeches to be heard says a new report launched by the University of Birmingham and the University of East Anglia. The research project " The Crisis of Rhetoric: Renewing Political Speech and Speechwriting " argues that public debate and the freedom to make arguments and counterarguments are essential for democracy.

Politics - 29.07.2019
WhatsApp both strengthens and undermines Nigerian democracy, says UK-Nigeria research team
Research findings were released today by a UK-Nigerian research team examining the role of WhatsApp in Nigeria's 2019 elections. Drawing on citizen surveys and interviews with political campaigns, the report underlines the ways in which WhatsApp has promoted the spread of “fake news” around elections, but has also strengthened accountability and promoted inclusion in other areas.

Social Sciences - Politics - 27.06.2019
UK-first as 960,000 project explores integration in Bristol
A unique new project led by the University of Bristol has received a 960,000 boost to improve integration across Bristol by exploring how its citizens and communities share spaces and move around the city. University researchers on the 'Everyday Integration' project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will work with Bristol City Council and 29 community partners to identify existing best-practice and better understand how to overcome the various barriers people currently face.

Health - Politics - 29.05.2019
Long-term health effects of armed conflict could last years after fighting stops
Living in a warzone is linked with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke among civilians, even years after the conflict ends. The findings come from the first systematic review of the effects of armed conflict on heart disease risk, carried out by researchers at Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Politics - 22.05.2019
Lack of evaluation in countering violent extremism may boost terror threat
A lack of evaluation of the impact of countering violent extremism (CVE) and counter-terrorism (CT) efforts may actually be increasing the threat and risk of terrorism, a new study points out. Researchers say that national and international agencies' efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism have lacked two key ingredients - a clear and coherent theory of how individuals change and consistent evaluation of evidence of their changing attitudes.

Politics - 07.05.2019
Scale of Russian interference in European democracy revealed
Evidence of the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency's long-term interest in European politics and elections has been revealed in two new studies from Cardiff University's Crime and Security Research Institute. Taken together the findings provide a strong indication of the kinds of disinformation campaigns that could be directed towards the 2019 European Parliamentary elections on 23 May.

Politics - Psychology - 16.04.2019
Political fake news: they might be a liar but they’re my liar
An international collaboration has investigated how people perceive politicians when they spread misinformation. The research found supporters of the politicians reduced their belief in misinformation once corrected, yet their feelings towards the political figure remained unchanged if misinformation was presented alongside an equal number of facts.

Innovation / Technology - Politics - 20.02.2019
Top Smart Cities are Global Cities
An unprecedented global study has analysed and ranked leading cities in the worldwide “smart city” phenomenon. Based on a comprehensive webometric study, in total 27 cities made it onto the list of the world's leading smart cities, led by London, Singapore and Barcelona. The group of 27 were whittled down from a full list of over 5550 worldwide cities with 100,000 inhabitants or more.

Politics - Psychology - 27.11.2018
Complex systems help explain how democracy is destabilised
Complex systems help explain how democracy is destabilised
Complex systems theory is usually used to study things like the immune system, global climate, ecosystems, transportation or communications systems. But with global politics becoming more unpredictable - highlighted by the UK's vote for Brexit and the presidential elections of Donald Trump in the USA and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil - it is being used to examine the stability of democracies.

Politics - 30.10.2018
Brexit is trigger word for doom and gloom among Westminster tweeters
A new study from the University of Nottingham has revealed the Twitter habits of UK politicians and how they use social media to influence and participate in public debate. Dr Roderick MacKenzie from the Faculty of Engineering conducted the research over a 12-month period, while based as a parliamentary fellow in the House of Commons Library.

Politics - 24.10.2018
Politics interferes with the ability to assess expertise
Learning about someone's political beliefs interferes with a person's ability to assess expertise, as people judge like-minded peers as being more expert in fields completely unrelated to politics, finds a new UCL-led study. In the paper, published in Cognition , the researchers found that people turned to peers with similar political views for help on a shape categorisation task that had nothing to do with politics, instead of seeking help from someone who was doing better at the shape categorisation task but didn't share their political leanings.

Politics - 05.09.2018
Swedish election second only to US in proportion of ’junk news’ shared
Research from the Oxford Internet Institute has found that the proportion of 'junk news' shared on social media during the ongoing Swedish election campaign is higher than any other European country studied - and second only to the US in recent major elections. With Sweden going to the polls on 9 September, the study shows that Swedish social media users have shared two links to professional news content for every one link to junk news, with junk sources accounting for 22% of all URLs shared with political hashtags.

Law - Politics - 23.08.2018
More work needed to make Irish abortion law fit-for-purpose
While Government-imposed restrictions on immigration can reduce overall migration, they can also be ineffective or even counterproductive, pushing more would-be migrants into unauthorised channels, finds new research carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham. The study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, investigated how individuals are likely to move from one country to another based on varying levels of restriction.

Politics - Law - 07.08.2018
Visa restrictions can lead to increase in illegal migration
While Government-imposed restrictions on immigration can reduce overall migration, they can also be ineffective or even counterproductive, pushing more would-be migrants into unauthorised channels, finds new UCL-led research in collaboration with Royal Holloway and University of Birmingham. The study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , investigated how individuals are likely to move from one country to another based on varying levels of restriction.

Social Sciences - Politics - 01.08.2018
Differences in social status and politics encourage paranoid thinking
Differences in social status and political belief increase paranoid interpretations of other people's actions, finds a new UCL experimental study. Paranoia is the tendency to assume other people are trying to harm you when their actual motivations are unclear, and this tendency is increased when interacting with someone of a higher social status or opposing political beliefs, according to the study published today in Royal Society Open Science .

Career - Politics - 30.07.2018
Decline in working class politicians, shifted Labour towards right wing policy
The decline in working-class MPs and rise of career politicians shifted the Labour Party towards a more right wing policy stance on welfare, according to a new study by UCL. The research, published in Comparative Political Studies , examined the policy preferences of working-class and career politicians within the Labour Party both pre and during Tony Blair's leadership of the Labour Party. The study shows that working-class MPs were substantially more in favour of traditional welfare policies than their careerist colleagues.

Politics - Career - 05.07.2018
Barriers continue to prevent potential Assembly candidates from standing, report concludes
Action is needed to encourage a wider range of people from underrepresented groups to enter politics, academics say. The team from Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre and London Metropolitan University studied what motivates and discourages people from considering running for election to the National Assembly.

Politics - 24.04.2018
Climate change not the key driver of human conflict and displacement in East Africa
Climate change not the key driver of human conflict and displacement in East Africa
Over the last 50 years climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research by UCL. Human displacement refers to the total number of forcibly displaced people, and includes internally displaced people - the largest group represented - and refugees, those forced to across international borders. "Terms such as climate migrants and climate wars have increasingly been used to describe displacement and conflict, however these terms imply that climate change is the main cause.

Politics - Health - 26.01.2018
Study hints magic mushrooms can alter how you feel about nature (and politics)
Study hints magic mushrooms can alter how you feel about nature (and politics)
Long-held beliefs can become entrenched over time, making them hard to change. But psychedelics might provide a way to alter them, a study suggests. Researchers have been exploring psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, as a potential therapeutic avenue for a small group of patients with depression who do not respond to mainstream treatments - with initial results suggesting a lasting reduction in symptoms.

Environment - Politics - 20.12.2017
Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
Big data study of global biodiversity shows ineffective national governance is a better indicator of species decline than any other measure of "anthropogenic impact". Even protected conservation areas make little difference in countries that struggle with socio-political stability.

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