Think Tanks in Armenia: Who Needs their Thinking?
By Yevgenya Jenny Paturyan
What does the think tank landscape look like in Armenia?
First of all, the term itself remains an alien catchword that has not taken root (and, frankly, perhaps it should not). Translated into Armenian (ուղեղաին կենտրոն) it sounds utterly ridiculous. Of the 11 Armenian think tanks mentioned by name in the Global Go Think Tanks Index Report 2014, in fact, only one describes itself as a think tank (in English, but not in Armenian). Some organizations prefer to call themselves research centers: a name that is easily translatable into Armenian. Others have broader descriptions corresponding to their general mandate (“an academic bridge between diaspora [sic] and native Armenian scholars” or a “non-governmental organization … which aims to assist and promote the establishment of a free and democratic society in Armenia”).
Taking a closer look at those 11 organizations (supposedly the top Armenian think tanks as ranked by external reviewers) is an interesting reality check. As the 21st century saying goes: if you are not online, you don’t exist. How do these 11 names fare in a Google search? The table below summarizes the results.
Table 1. Online presence of Armenian entities mentioned by name in the Global Go Think Tanks Index Report 2014
*I did not search for a separate Armenian language web page. Instead, I simply noted if the main English web page has a link to an Armenian version
2. Do donors have a responsibility to share think tank outputs with the public in a language accessible to the public?
3. How can we ensure the quality of Armenian language outputs, given that the circle of potential peer-reviewers is so small?
While these questions are beyond the scope of this post and are not likely to have simple answers, they are worth deliberating. What’s your take on these issues? Share your insights by tweeting at us here.
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Taking partly free voters seriously: autocratic response to voter preferences in Armenia and GeorgiaDo voters in less than democratic contexts matter or are elections simply facades used to create a veneer of democratic accountability for domestic and international actors? Within the Autocratic Response to Voter Preferences in Armenia and Georgia project, funded by Academic Swiss Caucasus Net, CRRC-Georgia and CRRC-Armenia aimed to help answer this question, at least for Georgia and Armenia. On October 27, Caucasus Survey published the results of the project in a special issue, available here.
During Sargsyan’s incumbency, dissatisfaction with government grew and support for protest increasedSerzh Sargsyan, formerly the President and then Prime Minister of Armenia, resigned from office on April 23rd, 2018, following 11 days of peaceful protest. Over the past 10 years, which coincide with Sargsyan’s time in office, Armenians were increasingly dissatisfied with their government. At the same time, the country witnessed growing civic engagement, with “youth-driven, social media-powered, issue-specific civic activism,” referred to as “civic initiatives”. CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer data from 2008 to 2017 reflect both these trends.
The Caucasus Barometer survey regularly asks people, “Which of the following statements do you agree with: “‘People are like children; the government should take care of them like a parent’ or ‘Government is like an employee; the people should be the bosses who control the government.’” Approximately half of the population of Georgia (52%) agreed in 2017 with the former statement and 40% with the latter. Responses to this question have fluctuated to some extent over time, but overall, attitudes are nearly equally split.
21 თებერვალს საქართველო მშობლიური ენის დღეს აღნიშნავს, თარიღს, რომელიც იუნესკომ „ლინგვისტური და კულტურული მრავალფეროვნებისა და მრავალენოვნების ხელშეწყობის“ მიზნით დააწესა.
გახდნენ თუ არა ქართველები და სომხები უფრო მეტად ტოლერანტულები სხვა ეროვნების წარმომადგენლების მიმართ?
საქართველოსა და სომხეთში 2009 და 2019 წელს ჩატარებულ კვლევებში მოსახლეობას ეკითხებოდნენ, მოიწონებდნენ თუ არა საქმიან ურთიერთობას და ქორწინებას 12 სხვა ეროვნების წარმომადგენელთან. საინტერესოა, რა გამოავლინა კვლევამ. არიან თუ არა ქართველები და სომხები მეტად ტოლერანტულები სხვა ეროვნების წარმომადგენლების მიმართ?
„კავკასიის ბარომეტრის“ მონაცემების მიხედვით, ქართველები და სომხები უფრო ტოლერანტული არიან სხვა ეროვნების წარმომადგენლებთან საქმიანი ურთიერთობის ქონის მიმართ და საკმაოდ მკაცრი, თუკი საქმე სხვა ეროვნების ადამიანთან ქორწინებას ეხება.
The recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of tens of thousands. Yet despite there being a brutal war near its borders, many in Georgia were unaware of the conflict.
Data from the Caucasus Barometer survey indicate that awareness of the conflict’s existence increased shortly after the war in 2020 compared to 2013, but only slightly. In 2013, when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was ‘frozen’, 66% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. Around a third of the population was not aware of it. In December of 2020, shortly after the 44-day long war, 74% of Georgians reported they had heard of it. A whole quarter (26%) of the population, meanwhile, was not aware of military operations between the country’s two direct neighbours.