AIIS ranked among world's best think tanks for 2019

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 7, 2020 12:15

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  • The work of AIIS researchers has been recognized by a number of scholars, who have called the organization both a cause and a consequence of Albania’s tremendous progress in the last two decades in moving towards its European future.

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TIRANA, Feb. 5 - The Albanian Institute for International Studies was reconfirmed once more among the world's best think tanks by the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index, proving that through its many conferences and publications it has become the leading organization of its kind in the country and an important contributor to the discussion of a broad range of issues in the Balkans in general.  

The index is issued by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, authored by James G. McGann.

In the list of think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, AIIS is among the 25 best think tanks, whereas it   features in the global ranking of think tanks for the specific fields of foreign policy and international relations, as well as in the global list of think tanks that work in the field of defense and security.

More specifically, AIIS ranked 86th among the top defense and national security think tanks, 90th on foreign policy and international affairs, 44th in most government-affiliated think tanks and 65th in best using social media and networks.  

The ranking is organized on an annual basis by the Pennsylvania University program, which conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. AIIS is the only Albanian think tank to make the cut of the prestigious international ranking index.

"The recognition of our work by the prestigious Think Tanks Report of the Lauder Program of the University of Pennsylvania is a boost to our commitment of promoting excellence, integrity and cooperation in the field of research, policy advocacy and regional and European integration. It also helps with networking and promotion. They have combed through the data of over 700 think tanks that operate in Eastern and central Europe and selected 120 of them, and within this list we are on the 23rd place. In addition our work for security issues and foreign policy has enabled us to be ranked among the peer institutions all over the world. We see this as both a privilege and a responsibility to always improve on our work," AIIS Executive Director Alba Cela told Tirana Times.  

According to à‡ela, last year was an intensive and challenging year for AIIS which hosted several national and regional events addressing bilateral relations, security issues and European integration perspective. A number of policy papers on bilateral relations have been published which have attracted the attention of experts and media in the region.

Touching upon the think tank's new projects, Cela mentioned the publication Tirana Observatory, which has fast become a reference material for all those who are interested in the view from Tirana on matters of security, foreign policy and international developments.  

"The Albanian Institute for International Studies is always on the look for new ideas and genuine novel contributions that we can make. By the end of last year we launched the quarterly Tirana Observatory, a publication that will empower experts and researchers by publishing in a reader-accessible format their work and their insights. So far the feedback has been quite inspiring for us," Cela said, adding the publication also has a frequently updated page at www. Tiranaobservatory.com.

The work of AIIS researchers has been recognized by a number of scholars, who have called the organization both a cause and a consequence of Albania's tremendous progress in the last two decades in moving towards its European future.  

"Its sharp analytical focus on the world beyond Tirana has helped what was once one of the most isolated countries on earth, become an active contributor to the international order. These have been marvelously productive years for both Albania and its leading institute," Danel P. Serwer of John Hopkins University told the Tirana Times.    

Since 2006, the GGTTI report has raised understanding of the role think tanks play in governments and civil societies around the world. This is the 14th consecutive year that the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Penn University has released this internationally-recognized annual report.  

This year's report contained a total of 54 ranking, spanning the four major categories of overall rankings, region, area of research and special achievements.  

At the same time AIIS works systematically to maintain its collaboration and partnership with the think tanks community and other academic institutions in Europe, the United States and other countries in addition to the natural partners closer in the region as well as more specific institution related programs of NATO, the EU Commission etc.

AIIS has already a rich portfolio of publications and books which in addition to the expert-based partnership with the international community have made a real positive impact in the promotion of Albania and its perspective abroad on matters of security, foreign policy and international relations.

Additionally, AIIS has served for years in a row as a magnet for new graduates and students who study abroad, to either offer chances of learning and researching or to decrease the brain drain the country is currently experiencing as a result of mass migration, especially from the youth.

What might be most important, however, is AIIS' important contribution to regional and to the general understanding of issues the Balkans are facing.  

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 7, 2020 12:15