The Top Rated Think Tanks in the Middle East: University of Pennsylvania Study

Written by admin on April 26th, 2010

The University of Pennsylvania recently revised its 2009 list of top rated think tanks, “The Global ‘Go-To’ Think Tanks.” Housed at the university’s international relations department, a wide variety of researchers and judges culled through the world’s 6,000+ think tanks to come up a list of the most influential. “The primary objective,” states the report, “of the rankings is to recognize some of the leading public policy think tanks in the world and highlight the important contributions these organizations are making to governments and civil societies around the world.”

The study offers a statistical review of countries with the largest number of think tanks (the U.S. with 1,815; second is China with 428), the number of think tanks per region, the top think tanks by research area, and the top think tanks by special achievement. The Top Think Tank in the World was the Brookings Institution. In the category of the Top 25 Think Tanks Worldwide, including U.S. and non-U.S. institutions, the US accounted for 16, the U.K. 5, Belgium two and Sweden and Germany one a piece. As a way to discount the excessive influence of the U.S., the study lists the top 50 non-U.S. world wide think tanks. The U.K’s Chatham House is ranked number one.

The publications and conferences sponsored at think tanks often signal a country’s future policy directions.  Writings from the conservative Heritage Foundation pointed the route of the Regan Administration’s foreign policy and personalities and papers from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and the Center for Security Policy foretold of the Bush Administration’s goal to radically transform the Middle East. “At their best,” the Pennsylvania study observes, “think tanks are the filters and synthesizers that facilitate the identification of policy issues, the design of policy solutions, and the implementation of and feedback on policy decisions.”

The top rated 25 think tanks in the Middle East and North Africa were:

1.  Carnegie Middle East Center, Lebanon

2.  Al-Ahram Center for Strategic and Political Studies, Egypt

3.  Institute for National Security Studies, formerly Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies, Israel

4.  Gulf Research Center, UAE

5. Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), Turkey

6.  Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Israel

7. Center for Strategic Studies, Jordan

8. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, UAE

9. Association for Liberal Thinking, Turkey

10. Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Israel

11. Dubai Institute of Government, UAE

12. Rabin Center for Israeli Studies, Israel

13. International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), Israel

14. Free Minds Association, Azerbaijan

15. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Israel

16. Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, Israel

17. Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), Lebanon

18. Center of Arab Women for Training and Research, Egypt

19. Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), Israel

20. Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Turkey

21. Center for Palestine Research and Studies, Palestinian Authority

22. Centre d’Etudes et des Recherches en Sciences Sociales, Morocco

23. Shalem Centre, Israel

24. Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, Israel

25. Egyptian Center for Economic Studies – Egypt

Readers seeking to discern what the future may hold for the Middle East may benefit from reviewing from time to time the discussions and analysis offered by these think tanks.

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