Students Staff

20 January 2014

Three new Heads of Department announced

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , — Communications, CER @ 2:40 pm
Professor Geoff Ward is head of the Psychology Department

Professor Geoff Ward is head of the Psychology Department

Three new Heads of Department have been announced this month.

Professor Geoff Ward took over as Head of the Department of Psychology at the beginning of January. He has been with the University since 1993, when he started as a lecturer, moving to Senior Lecturer in 2000, Reader in 2002 and Professor in 2005.

Professor Ward’s research focuses on understanding the processes and structures of human memory. He is particularly interested in theories of short-term and working memory tasks, and he is also interested in encoding and retrieval processes across a wide range of timescales. He is currently working on a three-year, EU-funded project entitled “Recall: Enhanced Human Memory”, examining how technology can help us understand and enhance human memory.

He has served as committee member and then Secretary of the Cognitive Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society, and for the last five years has been an Associate Editor of the international peer-reviewed journal, Memory and Cognition.

 

 

 

Professor Han Dorussen Head of the Department of Government

Professor Han Dorussen Head of the Department of Government

Professor Han Dorussen has taken over as Head of the Government Department on a temporary basis, for the next six months. He has been with the University since 2001 and previously held the position of Head of Department from 2008 to 2011.

His research focuses on International Relations and Conflict Resolution. Current research interests include the relationship between trade and conflict, policy convergence in the European Union, and peacekeeping operations and the governance of post-conflict societies. In recent field research in Timor-Leste, he examined whether the departure of UN peacekeepers affected the perception of security.

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Noam Lubell Head of the Law Department

Professor Noam Lubell Head of the Law Department

Professor Noam Lubell is the newly appointed Head of the Law School. He began working at the University in 2011, and in past years studied for both his masters and his PHD at the University before teaching at institutions in both Israel and Ireland.

His work considers the law of armed conflict and human rights in the context of terrorism, including transnational terrorism, new technology, cyber attacks and the use of robots and drones. In addition to his academic work, Professor Lubell has worked for various human rights organisations, and has provided consultancy and training in human rights law and the laws of armed conflict, for international bodies such as Amnesty International, government bodies, and the BBC.

 

 

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27 September 2013

Public perception of government’s trustworthiness and honesty has plummeted

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:18 pm
Professor Paul Whiteley

Professor Paul Whiteley

A study by Professor Paul Whiteley of the Department of Government has shown that the percentage of people who think that the Government is honest and trustworthy has been in  decline since the high of the 1997 General Election, dropping to significant lows during the Iraq War, the election that followed, and the MP’s expenses scandal.

Just 34 per cent of people asked think that the British Government from 1997 to 2013 has, on balance, been honest and trustworthy, with 57 per cent feeling they have been dishonest.

Evaluations of the Labour leader also decreased considerably in this period, as did satisfaction with democracy.  The change of government in 2010 gave a boost to perceptions of government honesty, but the effect was temporary and rapidly dissipated.

Setting out to ascertain why voters lose trust in governments, Professor Whiteley tested three broad factors which he believes drives trust; policy outcomes, policy processes and specific events, like the expenses scandal.

The data was initially collected via Gallup telephone survey, which consisted of monthly surveys from 1997 to 2003 and questioned approximately 1,000 respondents. Internet survey data from YouGov was used from 2004 to the present and, again, consisted of monthly surveys of approximately 1,000 respondents.

Professor Whiteley concludes that all policy related issues influence government honesty, meaning that performance really matters for a government’s credibility. The processes matter too, in that if people think that they are being treated fairly and that those in charge are competent, this also boosts government credibility. Political leadership is another important factor since people appear to use trust in the current Prime Minister as a heuristic for deciding whether or not to trust the Government as a whole.

Professor Whiteley believes that the study’s findings demonstrate important implications for the future, as further analysis shows that perceptions of government honesty play an important role in explaining voting intentions. Speaking of the future he said, “If trust in government is low at the time of the next election, the Conservatives will lose votes and Labour will gain them. However, if David Cameron is more popular than Ed Milliband, this will offset a lack of trust in his government. At the moment the two are equal in the popularity stakes. Interestingly, trust in government appears not to influence voting intentions for the Liberal Democrats.”

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5 July 2013

Changes to the IDCR

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:18 pm

The University has reviewed the best way to continue to support the work of the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (IDCR) and has decided to integrate it into the work of the University.

Professor Todd Landman

Professor Todd Landman

Our Department of Government and Human Rights Centre will take on the majority of the IDCR’s projects and contracts which cover areas such as parliamentary strengthening and democracy assessment. The IDCR will no longer operate as a separate institute from 31 July 2013.

The change follows the appointment of Director of the IDCR, Professor Todd Landman, to the University’s senior management team, as Executive Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences.  For more information please contact Professor Todd Landman.

Earlier plans for a new building which would have housed the IDCR and other related University centres and projects have been reconsidered as part of a wider review of the strategy for the University’s Knowledge Gateway. Work is due to start on the first phase of the Parkside office village on the research park next month. More details will appear on Essex Daily soon.

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8 April 2013

New ‘War Fatigue’ research by Dr Thomas Scotto

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 11:19 am

Dr Thomas Scotto New research by Dr Thomas Scotto from our Department of Government (pictured), with academics from Georgia State University in the US, has found ten years after the fall of Saddam most Britons feel the war in Iraq was a failure.

Among British adults, 51 per cent believed the action did not succeed. And the resulting ‘war fatigue’ is fuelling a deep reluctance to intervene in Syria among voters in both Britain and the US despite an escalating humanitarian crisis, the survey’s authors say.

Dr Scotto has recently featured on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss his research. Read the news release.

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