This theme has two components: assessing research capacities in Armenia, especially in the area of political and social sciences, and improving them via the inclusion of Armenian research bodies in international scholarly discourses, networks and partnerships.
The theme includes:
- An Assessment of Research Capacities in Armenia in Social Sciences and Humanities, Research Paper produced in cooperation with Academic Swiss Caucasus Net the paper was published online by ASCN in October 2010 and produced hardcopy by CI in February 2011. The paper identifies the strengths and weaknesses of Armenia’s research potential and proposes policy recommendations.
- Political Transformation and Social Change in the South Caucasus: Georgia and Armenia in Perspective. 2nd ASCN Annual Conference, Yerevan. On 29-30 June, 2012 the second annual conference was held in Yerevan devoted to the contradictions and ambivalences of the transformation processes in the South Caucasus. Within the framework of the conference discussion forum was held regarding the challenges that social scientists face in the region. Participants of the conference were given an opportunity to build a wide professional network, discuss new ideas, as well as represent conducted research.
Since 2006, as part of its partnership with the South Caucasus Bureau of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, the CI has been engaged in the implementation of the HBF Scholarship Program in the South Caucasus, a unique program which young social and political scientists from the three countries of the South Caucasus are awarded research scholarships, given scientific guidance by prominent local and international scholars, and trained at winter and summer schools. Every year the CI organizes the call for proposals in Armenia, and the CI Director serves as a mentor on this program.
The Local Coordination Unit of the ASCN in Armenia, operating at CI since 2011, as a new format for consolidating and capacity-building of policy research in Armenia. A stakeholder meeting was held on February 25, 2011 with representatives of leading think-tanks, NGO and academic bodies active in the area. Current ASCN activities in Armenia also include an exchange program for MA students of social sciences; under it, Armenian study during one semester at Swiss universities. There is also the possibility of short grants for PhD students to go to Swiss universities for 1 to 3 months.
In July 2011 the CI produced, with the support of the U.S. Embassy, the Armenian translation of “Democracies in Danger” under the edition of Alfred Stepan. This fundamental volume represents latest achievements of Americans in the field of political science. The book is especially important for our society given its great practical importance. It summarizes the political situations in the countries of Central and Eastern America, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Internships at CI for young scholars and students. Over the years, dozens of interns from Armenia, the EU and the US have worked at CI, including
- 2002 Niculin Jaeger, currently Deputy Head of the Swiss Embassy in Mosambique
- 2009 Ashley Killough, Fulbright Fellow
- 2009 Thomas Burns, Fulbright Fellow
- 2010 Franziska Smolnik, currently Research Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Freie Universität Berlin
- 2012 Richard White, Carleton University, Canada