December 29, 2009

UC Berkeley Scholars Workshop

The Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES) at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), in collaboration with the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), is soliciting proposals from scholars in the Social Sciences and History from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to participate in a two-week workshop at UCB from April 17 to May 1, 2010. The workshop is funded by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

A total of five scholars from the South Caucasus (“Carnegie Fellows”) will be brought to UCB for an intensive review of the key literature, theoretical approaches, and methods employed in a particular field of scholarship. Each Carnegie Fellow will work with a paired UCB faculty member and graduate student with knowledge of the Carnegie Fellow’s field theme to develop undergraduate and graduate syllabi and teaching materials, explore innovative teaching and research techniques and technologies, and prepare a field survey (with a literature review) for use by other Carnegie Fellows and scholars from the South Caucasus. The language of the workshop will be English.

Airfare, hotel, and meal expenses will be paid for by ISEEES. In addition, ISEEES will either pay for or reimburse each Carnegie Scholar for up to $600 in expenses relating to purchasing, copying, and posting teaching materials. ISEEES will provide letters of invitation, but each Carnegie Fellow will be responsible for obtaining a US visa with assistance from the local CRRC offices in Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan.

Who is eligible to participate?Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia
Scholars who hold a "Kandidatskaya" degree or higher
Scholars who have a level of proficiency in written and spoken English that is sufficient to conduct independent research and engage in a debate.

How to apply/documents to submit
Completed application form
A statement of purpose (the applicant’s research and teaching experience and future plans, not exceeding 3 pages)
A sample of scholarly research (not exceeding 10 pages)
Curriculum Vitae

Application forms can be found at http://iseees.berkeley.edu/caseproject.html#app.
The website also has a detailed description of the purpose and design of the workshop. Applicants should be sure to read the Program Description to ensure that they are familiar with the design and requirements of the program.

Applications should be submitted via email to applications@crrccenters.org by February 12, 2010.

December 11, 2009

Corruption Survey of Households: Comparative Results for 2008/2009

As part of the Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC) program, the CRRC has conducted a detailed corruption survey of households across Armenia. This is the second survey in the framework of MAAC. The first survey took place in the fall of 2008, in cooperation with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

For the survey, 1416 respondents were interviewed face-to-face. Respondents represent the voting age population in Armenia (18 years +) across all marzes. The respondents were selected through multistage cluster sampling with preliminary stratification by urban/rural and by marz. The sampling frame was the electricity users list that is used for many nation-wide surveys in Armenia.

According to the research, 72% of respondents are dissatisfied with the overall situation in Armenia in the last year, compared to 62% in 2008. Unemployment again is identified as the main problem facing Armenia today, and findings suggest that it indeed increased noticeably. Poverty, inflation and economic problems in general are also key issues of concern for Armenians.

More than 8 in 10 consider corruption to be a serious problem facing the nation, while in comparison with the past year more respondents feel that corruption is perceived as a fact of everyday life. The percentage of respondents who believe that corruption will always exist grew from 22% in 2008 to 28% in 2009.

Corruption continues to be perceived as very common in institutions and public offices. Sixty one percent of the respondents believe the courts and the prosecution to be corrupt to some or to a great extent. The Central Election Commission is also deemed corrupt by many respondents (54%). Electoral systems and processes, the police, healthcare, education, tax services, and custom authorities are among the most corrupt sectors in Armenia.

The survey also captures the social acceptability of corruption. The research identifies four distinct groups in Armenia. The first group are the candid corruption supporters, who openly say that they would both give and take a bribe; they constitute 19% of respondents. Another group, the passive payers (36%) said they would pay bribes but would refuse to take them; a small group (3%) wouldn’t give a bribe but would take it. Underlining the social desirability of integrity, 42% of the respondents say they would refuse to either pay or take a bribe. The main reason for paying a bribe is the perception that there is no other way to get things done or because there is a need to speed up processes and procedures.

Overall, Armenians seemed reluctant to assume a proactive role in combating corruption. When asked what they personally can do to reduce corruption in Armenia, 60% of respondents said that there was nothing they could do. 75% of the respondents do not yet know the institutions which they need to contact for reporting a case of corruption. Of those who know where to report corruption, only a fraction does. According to respondents, the main reason for not wanting to report is that society does not reward such behavior. It also appears that corruption payments often seem to be at an equilibrium price where they are insufficiently painful to spur the payer into action.

Overall, the findings show a nuanced picture of corruption in Armenia, including some fields in which there are improvements. The overall situation, however, has not improved since 2008, but rather deteriorated slightly. The survey results from 2008 and 2009 thus provide a robust baseline against which future progress can be measured. A detailed study with sector-specific information will be made available in early 2010.

The main findings of the survey have been presented twice this week. On December 9, 2009, Heghine Manasyan, CRRC-Armenia Country Director, and Bagrat Harutyunyan, Assistant professor at YSU presented comparative results for 2008/2009 within the MAAC’s 6th Anti-Corruption Forum. CRRC Regional Director Hans Gutbrod hold the second presentation for the members of the USAID-USG Anticorruption Coordination Group at the Ani Plaza Hotel on December 11, 2009. Presentation slides in PDF are available for download here.

November 30, 2009

State of Armenian Irregular Migrants in Turkey

On November 30, 2009 CRRC-Armenia hosted a presentation on the main findings of the investigative journalistic research “State of Armenian Irregular Migrants in Turkey”. The presentation held by Armenia-Turkey Project manager at Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Artak Shakaryan, was based on the research paper authored by Alin Ozinian.


The investigative journalistic research has been carried out in Istanbul, Antalya, Trabzon and Ankara, through focus group and in-depth interviews, as part of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation “Identifying the State of Armenian Migrants in Turkey” project.

The exact number of Armenian migrants in Turkey is unknown to this day, but according to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan the real number was 50.000 in January 2009. Other politicians have suggested different numbers reaching as high as 70.000. According to the study about 95% of all the illegal Armenian workers in Turkey are women. It is teresting that most of the Armenian immigrant men don’t work and come to Turkey to stay with their wives and keep them safe.

Armenian migrants mostly live and work in Istanbul. Some of them also work in Antalya or Alanya during the summer period as a hotel personnel but they stay just for 3 or 4 months. Most of the illegal Armenian women workers are between 40 and 60 years old. The youngest of them are 20 years old.


The incomes of the Armenian immigrants are between 100 USD and 600 USD, rarely it may rise to 1000 USD. The factory workers get the lowest income. Women who work as house-maids or baby-sitter have clearly stated that they would be ashamed to do such a job in Armenia because of the acquaintances in their homeland.

The situation of the children of Armenian migrants, however, is the most heartbreaking subject. The children of Armenian migrants cannot go to any public school or Armenian Minority school as they have no Turkish citizenship. Most of these uneducated children spend their lives by playing on the streets. They are prone to have bad habits and develop a criminal personality.

The concern was raised during the meeting of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergdogan and His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshian and the Armenian delegation at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul on November 6. Erdogan assured the Armenian delegation that over time all problems will receive their solutions. Most importantly, he gave a positive resolution to the problem of the children of Armenian irregular migrants working in Istanbul allowing them to be included in Armenian community schools as “guest students”.

The event is covered by PanARMENIAN.NeT Armenian News Agency here.

November 11, 2009

IMF Regional Economic Outlook for the Caucasus and Central Asia

The global crisis has severely impacted the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA), with growth for the region now projected to drop from 6.6 percent in 2008 to 1.5 percent in 2009. But this average masks important differences across countries. Most CCA energy exporters are projected to record solid growth in 2009, given limited linkages to international markets, long-term energy export contracts, and supportive policies.

However, the energy importers, including Armenia, are facing a marked slowdown in growth and deteriorating living standards as a result of a sharp drop in remittances from Russia. In 2010, a modest recovery is expected for the CCA as a whole, including for Armenia.

These and other issues were discussed at a lecture organized by CRRC-Armenia and conducted by Ms. Nienke Oomes, the IMF Resident Representative in Armenia on November 10, 2009 at YSU Big Hall. The lecture was based at IMF recent publication "Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia", which can be downloaded from the IMF website.

November 6, 2009

CRRC Publication Research Fellowships 2009

CRRC Publication Research Fellowships 2009 AvailableExplore issues – handle data – satisfy your curiosity – get published – generate opportunities
CRRC is offering a new round of research fellowships. Are you curious about a social science issue? Do you have some ideas or hypotheses that you want to explore further? This fellowship could be the perfect opportunity for you!

What issues are we looking to address?
We're looking for social science research that addresses pressing issues your country faces. The Millennium Development Goals (click here) constitute one such urgent research agenda. Other likely issues include child poverty, youth, social capital, migration and democratization. Pretty much any advanced analysis based on our Data Initiative is of interest to us. We can also help you develop your topic if you are unsure about it, but are committed to undertaking professional research. Look at our blogs, crrc-caucasus.blogspot.com and crrcam.blogspot.com, to see some of the issuesthat previous fellows have worked on.

What issues are we NOT looking to address?
We are open to innovative ideas and projects. But we are not particularly interested in geopolitical studies, partisan pieces, or research that is unfocused, speculative (or too theoretical) and does not ground itself in the relevant existing literature. We prefer research that can make a real impact by improving people's lives.

What results?
We want you to produce international quality research. You should aim to publish your research in a peer-reviewed journal (we will help you find one). This will give your research international recognition. We also expect your work to contain prescriptive richness and ask you to present you findings to relevant interested groups (international organizations, NGOs, government agencies) in your home country. We definitely want you to use some of our great data from the Data Initiative and other surveys.

Who is the fellowship for?You are smart, committed, curious and want to apply all your abilities. Typically you will have at least a Master's Degree. You are committed to develop your research ability and have a track record of excellence. You may work in fields other than research, but you are interested in getting back into research because you realize there are excellent long-term opportunities there. We require a working knowledge of English, since you want to publish internationally. Exceptions can be made for those doing quantitative and survey work. (Sorry, no funding for stipends abroad, or for expatriates.)

What do you get?
Primarily you get the satisfaction of doing excellent work and of being part of a small but vibrant community of internationally recognized research scholars in the South Caucasus. Moreover, if you get published internationally, many opportunities follow. The fellowship provides an opportunity to prove your professionalism, which you can use for many other applications (jobs, consultancy work, joint research projects, conference participation, and international research stipends such as CRRC’s Carnegie Fellowship, to name the most obvious). Depending on your research project, you can also get between 2000 and 4000 USD for pursuing your research interest (surveys, for example, may have higher costs).

Is it easy?Yes and no. We will help at every step. But it certainly is not easy money. In research you confront new challenges and difficult decisions all the time. That is why we are doing it, after all. It requires determination and persistence -- we hope you will join us in the thrill of discovery.

How to prepare?
Our online application procedure is specifically designed to help you develop your research proposal. Write us a short e-mail now (latest by November 13, 2009) at nana+fellow@crrccenters.org to find out more, telling us about your field of interest, and, if you have it, your provisional research topic. We will send you an email to let you know about the next step and to invite you to discuss your ideas at our open houses.

October 1, 2009

A New Meaning of Human Intelligence – Social IQ and Rewire Your Brain

Recent advances in the fields of neuroscience, modern brain research and behavior genetics indicate that there are factors, more important than intellectual competencies, to overall academic and life success. They related to our ability to understand and manage our emotions, control our behaviors, accurately interpret the events and situations and interact successfully with others.

On September 28-29, 2009 CRRC-Armenia, in collaboration with Irene Gyulnazarian Educational Foundation for Armenia organized two workshops conducted by John B. Arden, Ph.D and Ruzanna V. Ohanjanian, Ph.D (USA). During the first workshop “A New Meaning of Human Intelligence – Social IQ” Ruzanna Ohanjanian provided an overview of the major categories of various conceptions of intelligences, as well as discussed the principles and applications of the social and emotional intelligence. The second workshop “Rewire Your Brain” by John Arden was based on recent developments in neuroscience and evidence-based treatment. The lecturer described how to “rewire” your brain based on well researched principles that work. Participants learned how to deal with normal anxiety and feeling down in the dumps, as well as about healthy habits to enhance brain’s longevity and to maximize a vibrant life free of self-imposed limitations.
Ruzanna Ohanjanian, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Educator, Executive/Corporate Coach, has completed her Post-Doctoral Studies at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and is a California licensed Clinical Psychologist with over twenty years of extensive clinical, educational, executive coaching and corporate consulting experience. The list of companies she has worked with includes Microsoft Corporation, Ford Corporation, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Paramount Great America, Alaska Airlines, etc. After the tragedy of 9-11, Ruzanna was one of the California clinicians privileged to be providing assistance for a live hotline at the KGO TV studio for San Francisco Bay Area.
Dr. John Arden, the Director of Training in Mental Health for Kaiser Permanente in the Northern California Region, is the author and co-author of 12 books, including (with Lloyd Linford) Brain-Based Therapy with Adults and Brain-Based Therapy with Children and Adolescents. A general audience book coming out in early 2010 is called Rewire Your Brain. Dr. Arden has a background in neuropsychology and is the director of training for mental health for the Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in Northern California. He also practices part-time at Kaiser Permanente in Petaluma and San Rafael, and he served for several years as the Chief Psychologist at Kaiser Vallejo.

September 18, 2009

The Sources and Uses of Survey Data on Armenia

On September 18, 2009 CRRC-Armenia hosted a training on "The Sources and Uses of Survey Data on Armenia" conducted by Shushanik Hakobyan, a PhD student at the University of Virginia.

The training explored the availability and accessibility of various sources of survey data on Armenia such as 2001 Population Census, Life in Transition (LiTS), Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS) and 2003 NSS Household Survey. Several applications of these surveys were presented, such as business tax evasion, return to education, remittances and education spending, income mobility, educational assortative mating, and income distribution.
Shushanik received her B.A. in Economics from Yerevan State Institute of Economy, M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and is currently a fifth-year doctoral student in Economics at the University of Virginia. She has worked on a number of the World Bank projects as a consultant over the last few years. She is also a co-contributor at The Armenian Economist, a blog dedicated to the dissemination of the views of economists and professionals on current developments in the economy of Armenia.

August 14, 2009

Presentations of Exploratory Research on Corruption

On August 14, 2009 Yevgenya Paturyan, Bagrat Harutyunyan and Anna Martirosyan presented findings of their exploratory research on various facets of the issue of corruption. The research grants were provided to local scholars to explore corruption dataset and to publish papers within USAID MAAC "Corruption in Armenia: Public Opinion, Behavior and Expectations" project.
Civil Society and Corruption


July 28, 2009

CRRC Presents the Data Initiative 2008 Survey

Yerevan, Armenia. On July 28th (at 11:00 AM in the Picasso hall of the Congress Hotel, 1 Italy Street) CRRC presented results from their esteemed Data Initiative (DI) 2008 survey, which represents the 5th wave of information gathered from over 6000 households randomly selected in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The CRRC DI survey provides a unique opportunity to follow the socioeconomic, demographic and political developments during the last 5 years. The original dataset allows analysts to make parallels between the three countries of the South Caucasus and the developments between rural and urban areas within each country.

The survey provides an economic cross section of all three countries, revealing changes resulting from the impending Financial Crisis. Though about 57% of respondents would describe current economic situation of their household compared to others around as fair, 30% stated that they do not have enough money for food (15% in Azerbaijan and 22% in Georgia), and another 37% (33% and 39%, respectively) - enough for food, but not for cloths. The share of households in Armenia that are able to afford expensive durables and anything wanted is 5% only (10% in Azerbaijan and 7%-in Georgia).

Most survey respondents (70%) in Armenia consider the government like a parent that should take care of people, while 48% of Georgian respondents agree with the statement Government is like an employee; the people should be the bosses who control the government. Questions regarding national politics reveal diverging perceptions and opinions of the general public. Though political turmoil seems prevalent, the survey revealed that half of the respondents in Armenia say they are “not interested” or “hardly interested” in national politics. Moreover, only 24% claimed that national politics was going in the wrong direction, whereas 30% felt it was going in the right direction. Another surprising find is that in general more Armenians trust the president (49%) than they do the National Assembly (25%) or government (38%). In addition, the level of trust toward almost all the social and political institutions in 2008 was higher than a year ago.

Meantime the answers on questions to measure the social capital clearly indicated that the social networks are becoming weaker: a sizable third of respondents experiences general sense of emptiness, 80% miss having people around, each forth respondent often feels rejected. If there is a chance, 17% of respondents would leave Armenia forever to live somewhere else; 48% of respondents would leave the country for a certain period of time.


The CRRC DI survey databases and the supporting documents are freely available for all those interested in in-depth analysis and in advancing social research and public policy at http://www.crrccenters.org/.

Freedom of Expression and Censorship in Armenia

As a part of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation "Freedom of Expression and Censorship in Armenia" project a qualitative sociological research on perceptions of Armenian society has been carried out in Yerevan and three regions of Armenia, through focus group and in-depth interviews. On July 27, 2009 Gayane Ghazaryan presented the main findings of the research at CRRC-Armenia premises.

July 15, 2009

Corruption in Armenia: Public Opinion, Behavior and Expectations

Within the USAID MAAC Activity to enlighten youth and adults on the issue of corruption in Armenia, another presentation on findings from the 2008 Armenia Household Corruption Survey was conducted by Heghine Manasyan in Armavir in partnership with Armavir Development Center NGO on June 14, 2009.

July 9, 2009

Announcing New Fellowship | UC Berkeley Scholars Workshop

The Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES) at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), in collaboration with the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), is soliciting proposals from scholars in the Social Sciences and History from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to participate in a two-week workshop at UCB from November 7 to November 21, 2009. The workshop is funded by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

A total of four scholars from the South Caucasus (“Carnegie Fellows”) will be brought to UCB for an intensive review of the key literature, theoretical approaches, and methods employed in a particular field of scholarship. Each Carnegie Fellow will work with a paired UCB faculty member and graduate student with knowledge of the Carnegie Fellow’s field theme to develop undergraduate and graduate syllabi and teaching materials, explore innovative teaching and research techniques and technologies, and prepare a literature review for use by other Carnegie Fellows and scholars from the South Caucasus. The language of the workshop will be English.

Airfare, hotel, and meal expenses will be paid for by ISEEES. In addition, ISEEES will either pay for or reimburse each Carnegie Scholar for up to $600 in expenses relating to purchasing, copying, and posting teaching materials. ISEEES will provide letters of invitation, but each Carnegie Fellow will be responsible for obtaining a US visa with assistance from the local CRRC offices in Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan.

Who is eligible to participate?

• Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia
• Scholars who hold a "Kandidatskaya" degree or higher
• Scholars who have a level of proficiency in written and spoken English that is sufficient to conduct independent research and engage in a debate.

How to apply/documents to submit

• Completed application form
• Statement of purpose, explaining the applicant’s research and teaching experience and future plans (not exceeding 3 pages)
• Sample of scholarly research (not exceeding 10 pages)
• Curriculum Vitae

Application forms can be found at CRRC website. The website also has a detailed description of the purpose and design of the workshop. Applicants should be sure to read the Program Description to ensure that they are familiar with the design and requirements of the program.

Applications should be submitted via email to applications@crrccenters.org no later than September 11, 2009.

July 3, 2009

Data Quality Issues and Fixes

Fritz Scheuren, a professor at the University of Chicago and president of the American Statistical Association, presented a well-received lecture at CRRC-Armenia to an audience of students, lecturers, statisticians and other members of the sociology community in Yerevan on June 3, 2009.


His lecture highlighted some of the main problems and challenges in assessing data quality, in particular data repair. His explanations illustrated some of the steps and precautions that organizations, such as CRRC, must take into consideration when assessing the outcomes of their surveys.

Dr. Scheuren’s associate, Ali Mushtak, provided a further explanation of the important statistical method of raking data. This application of data allows for the matching to previous known data, while at the same time not sacrificing the information quality or achieved proportions.
The lecture was well received by members of the Armenian sociological and statistical community, who applauded Dr. Scheuren and Mushtak for their insightful contributions to survey data quality. Dr. Scheuren in turn applauded the Armenian experts for the high standards they had set in their assessment of data quality thus far, creating a precedent for statistical excellence.

2008 Armenia Corruption Survey of Households Report

2008 Armenia Corruption Survey of Households report highlights the main findings of USAID MAAC Activity Corruption Survey of Households. The report includes survey & sample methodology, opinions on general situation in Armenia, perceptions of corruption, personal experience with corruption and awareness of anti-corruption initiatives.




The report is available for download in English and Armenian at CRRC-Armenia website.

July 2, 2009

Erasmus Mundus Programme Students Visit CRRC-Armenia

Erasmus Mundus Programme students from various countries, including Italy, Greece, Bulgary, Georgia, Latvia, were introduced to the resources at the CRRC-Armenia office during their tour at Yerevan State University on July 1, 2009. The delegation, headed by Erasmus Mundus ECW Lot 5 Coordinator, Tania Kapiki and Head of Chair of Mathematical Modeling in Economics, YSU, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor Aram Arakelyan, is also planning to visit to universities in the region, such as Gavar State University and Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute and industrial centers of Gyumri. The programme's aim is to enhance the quality of European higher education by fostering co-operation with the wider world and promoting intercultural understanding.

June 29, 2009

Corruption in Armenia: Public Opinion, Behavior and Expectations

In April 2009 CRRC-Armenia was graciously awarded funding by the USAID MAAC Activity to enlighten youth and adults on the issue of corruption in Armenia. The main efforts have centred on publicizing and disseminating findings from the sweeping 2008 Armenia Household Corruption Survey. Efforts have broadcasted the nationwide survey, conducted by CRRC-Armenia, which gathered reliable information to analyse corruption and its relationship to key social, political, and economic indicators in Armenia.

The presentations, associated with the survey, have been among major stepping-stones in raising public awareness of the fight against corruption. Earlier, in February 2009, CRRC Regional Director Hans Gutbrod presented the survey results to international community and the partners of USAID/Armenia. CRRC-Armenia Country Director, Dr. Heghine Manasyan conducted presentations in Yerevan (June 4, 2009) for youth, including representatives from youth NGOs, student unions, young professionals’ organizations and associations. Also, CRRC experts toured various regions, bringing the information to people with various levels of education and employment status. One of the presentations took place on June 16, 2009 in Gyumri, Shirak region in cooperation with Gyumri Journalists's Club “Asparez”. The other one on June 26, 2009 and Goris, Syunik region, in cooperation with “Partnership and Teaching” NGO. The PPT slides are available for download here.
Presentation of the survey results, including a media question and answer session, for core members of the Armenian media is scheduled to take place in Yerevan.

For the intention of not only disseminating the findings, but also increasing research on the subject of corruption, five grants are provided to scholars who will use corruption datasets to explore, study, and publish various facets of the issue in order to leave a long-lasting impact on society. The analyses range from technical papers on cross tabulations and more complex regression models, to policy oriented papers that also contain recommendations on how to combat corruption in Armenia.
The fellows benefit from CRRC’s ample resources and databases to create influential and stimulating disquisitions on the development and future of corruption in Armenia. Following completion, it is expected that the developed papers will be published in local media outlets, and potentially in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals. Further, CRRC will help present their findings to relevant stakeholders’ in Armenia, creating a community of awareness stemming from the fellows’ efforts.

June 15, 2009

The 39th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology takes place in Yerevan State University

On June 12, 2009, CRRC-Armenia Country Director, Heghine Manasyan chaired a regular session "Youth Transitions and the South Caucasus and other New Market Economies/Democracies" and presented a paper "Youth Transition: Employment Profile, Trends and Factors in South Caucasus" at the 39th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology (Yerevan State University, Armenia, June 11-14). The paper is authored together with Armen Asatryan and Hovhannes Harutyunyan with EU INTAS Project “Youth transitions and their family-household contexts in the South Caucasus.”


Within the same session, Ken Roberts, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Liverpool, UK, explored the evolution of youth in eastern European countries, Central Asia and South Caucasus in the post-communism period.
The theme of the Congress was “Sociology at the Crossroads” and it had regular, special and plenary sessions. The Congress also had three broad foci, namely questions concerning the way sociology can arrive at a reformulated understanding of dilemmas of humanity in the contemporary era, including the nature of war and violence, of political order and states and state-like entities, of religious and cultural encounters, of processes of collective memories, traumas and reconciliations, and of shifting conceptions of law, legal regulation, human rights and international order. The Congress also highlighted cutting-edge theoretical advances in sociology and neighboring disciplines as well as teaching and curricular developments of sociology and social science in general in universities in the future.

It was a delight and an honor that the current President of ISA, Michel Wieviorka, played an important role at the Congress as well as two former Presidents of ISA, namely Margaret Archer and Immanuel Wallerstein.

June 12, 2009

School-to-Work Transitions after Two Decades of Post-Communist Transition

There have always been differences between countries, and between regions within countries, in the proportions of young people following different career routes. Similarly, there have been changes over time in some places in the proportions following the different career paths. Yet the evidence indicates that the career paths themselves have remained remarkably constant over time, and across different territories. The main career groups are those who obtain jobs paying salaries that will support a western-type lifestyle, who are employed in continuous regular private or public sector or business, those who are under-employment and the ones, that are unemployed.


On June 11, 2009 Professor Kenneth Roberts conducted a lecture entitled “School-to-Work Transitions after Two Decades of Post-Communist Transition: What’s New?". The lecture was based on the paper produced within the research on “Youth transitions and their family-household contexts in the South Caucasus”, which discusses the processes that have created and which maintain the divisions between these groups.

May 25, 2009

Corruption in Armenia: Evaluation of the Survey Dataset with the Use of Statistical Software

On May 23 and May 27, 2009, CRRC-Armenia held two trainings entitled “Corruption in Armenia: Evaluation of the Survey Dataset with the Use of Statistical Software (SPSS)” conducted by Mr. Ruben Gevorgyan and Mr. Ashot Kakosyan.


In 2008, CRRC-Armenia under the program of USAID Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC) Activity conducted household corruption survey in Armenia. Survey included 1,547 respondents representing the voting-age population in all administrative regions (Marzes) in Armenia. The questionnaire included about 80 questions on general corruption perceptions, personal experience, corruption related individual behavioral patterns, perceptions of government’s anticorruption actions, and other issues.

The training introduced participants the basics of the SPSS statistical package, corruption survey and sample methodology, ways of extracting needed information from the database, exploitation of the database, quantitative methods of analyzing the corruption database and other ways to interpret and analyze the corruption survey results. The handouts in Armenian are available for download here and here.

May 8, 2009

Call for Applications: Corruption in Armenia

USAID MAAC Activity and CRRC-Armenia are offering five research grants to explore primarily the database on corruption developed through the public opinion survey conducted in September-October 2008.

What issues are we looking to address?
We're looking for applied research that addresses corruption issues our country faces. In September-October 2008, CRRC-Armenia, in coordination with USAID MAAC Activity and IFES, conducted the Armenia Corruption Household Survey to explore the public opinion and perceptions of corruption issues within different spheres of public life.

The variety of topics covered in the survey gives an opportunity to analyze different aspects and different issues concerned with corruption. The analysis may contain simple charts of frequencies and respective comments, cross tabulations or more complex regression models, especially models with limited dependent variables (logit, probit regression models). Policy oriented papers that also contain recommendations on how to combat corruption in Armenia are especially welcome.

What results?
We want you to produce quality research papers/articles or other pieces using as a primary source of information the data collected in framework of the mentioned Corruption Survey. It is expected that the developed papers will be published at least in local media outlets. However, getting published in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals will give your research international recognition. We will also help you to present you findings to relevant stakeholders’ in Armenia.

What do you get?
You will have an exclusive opportunity to explore the survey based dataset. The research grant provides an opportunity to prove your professionalism, which you can use for many other applications (jobs, consultancy work, joint research projects, conference participation, etc). In terms of remuneration, each research proposal will enjoy about 380 000 (gross) AMD for two months of desk study.

Who is eligibile?
Applicants must be Armenian citizens or permanent residents of Armenia. Applications may be submitted by individual social science or humanities researchers, or by researchers and journalists affiliated with academic institutions, research institutes, mass media, NGOs, think tanks, and public agencies. Research experience and publishing records, especially in the area of corruption, as well as knowledge of English are an advantage.

How to apply?
Please fill in the application form and submit it along with your updated CV (indicating all your professional activities, any research conducted, and any other experience that would help your application to be convenient) to fellowship@crrc.am or bring it to CRRC-Armenia office at 52 Abovyan Str., room 305, by 17.00 (local time), May 20, 2009. The preferred language of the proposals is English, but you also can submit it in Armenian, and reserve some money within the budget for the translation of the final product in case of a successful proposal. In order to have a preliminary idea on the topics while preparing your proposal, please follow the link to download the survey questionnaires in English and Armenian and the dataset. For more ideas please also consult MAAC website at www.maac.am

For further information please contact Ms. Anna Sarkisyan, Program Manager, CRRC-Armenia, Tel.: (374 10) 58 13 30, 58 14 50 or E-mail: anna@crrc.am

May 6, 2009

Ethics and Corporate Social Reponsiblity

Ethical behavior and corporate social responsibility are conventionally seen as obligations of a business to go beyond what is dictated by law and economics to attend to the interests of stakeholders, other than its owners or shareholders, and to pursue long-term goals that are good for society. Corporate responsibility can be thought of as a four-storey pyramid, with economic responsibilities at the base, and philanthropic responsibilities at the top; in-between are the legal and ethical responsibilities of business.

Lecture on the topic of "Ethics and Corporate Social Reponsiblity: a Key to Sustained Competitiveness" was conducted by Dr. Theodore Panayotou (Cypros) on May 6, 2009. The lecture revealed different aspects within the business ethics as a management tool and corporate social responsibility as a competitive strategy. Corporate social responsibility is a source of competitive advantage that creates value for both business and society. Therefore, CSR is not simply the cherry on the top, it is one of the ingredients of the cake.

April 28, 2009

Religion Perspectives in Globalized World

Sergey A. Arutyunov, Head of Department of Caucasus of Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Scienses, hold a lecture-discussion "The Third Millennium A.D: Religion Perspectives in Globalized World" on April 27, 2009.


Dr. Arutyunov, is a Corresponding Member of National Academy of Science of Russian Federation, and he been awarded the title of Foreign Member of National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.

April 21, 2009

The Foreign Trade Financing: Banking Tools of Risk Management

On April 21, 2009 CRRC-Armenia held a lecture-discussion on "The Foreign Trade Financing: Banking Tools of Risk Management" conducted by Dr. Arthur Petrosyan and Dr. Davit Iskandaryan, trade and supply chain specialists of HSBC Bank Armenia.

March 25, 2009

Content Management Systems

On April 11, CRRC-Armenia, in cooperation with Formative Systems Center and IREX, organized a one day "Content Management Systems" training.

Muskie alumnus Arman Arakelyan (M.S., Simmons College), presented several Content Management Systems and delivered a hands on workshop during which the participants created their own websites. Arman Arakelyan was assisted by CRRC librarian/ information specialist Gohar Khachatryan.

March 17, 2009

Carnegie Research Fellowship Program

CRRC is happy to announce the Carnegie Research Fellowship Program (CRFP). The program offers exceptional research opportunities in the United States for scholars from the South Caucasus.

Specifically, scholars in the social sciences and the humanities may apply for individual, non-degree research opportunities at universities and institutes in the United States. The program is directed at advanced researchers that already have a demonstrated track record in research. The research period lasts up to a full semester (4 months), starting either September 2009 or January 2010. In 2008-2009, two fellows from Georgia and one from Armenia have been sent to Harvard University, University of Chicago and University of Washington to do their research.

Individuals who are eligible to participate in the fellowship program:
  • Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
  • Advanced graduate students, university faculty and scholars at any stage in their careers who have not recently conducted research projects at U.S. institutions.
  • Scholars who hold a “Kandidatskaya” degree or higher, or who are working towards a “Kandidatskaya” degree at the time of application.
  • Scholars who have publications (advanced graduate students may cite papers presented at academic conferences) in a particular field.
  • Scholars who have a level of proficiency in written and spoken English that is sufficient to conduct independent research and engage colleagues.
  • Scholars who are able to receive and maintain a United States J-1 visa.
  • Scholars who are able to begin the CRFP in the United States in September 2009, or January 2010.
NCEEER, the American Councils, and the CRRC do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, and disability. For more information please visit NCEEER website.

Applications need to be submitted in a hard copy to your local CRRC office. Deadline for applications is April 30, 5 p.m., 2009. We suggest applicants to study details in the guidelines and the application form closely, and in good time, to avoid disappointment. We will be accepting applications in the social sciences and the humanities. All costs for the scholars are covered, including round-trip airfare.
CRF
View more presentations from crrccenters.
The Carnegie Research Fellowship presents an extraordinary chance to researchers that can advance their work through a period of self-directed study in the US. Note that the application process is very competitive, since a concise research proposal is expected. In order to get application materials, go to CRRC website.
If you are interested in getting further training on how to improve your application, please email nana+nceeer@crrccenters.org with interactive online trainings in the subject line.

March 16, 2009

In Search of a Dramatic Equilibrium: Was the Armenian Dram Overvalued?

CRRC-Armenia hold a lecture-discussion "In Search of a Dramatic Equilibrium: Was the Armenian Dram Overvalued?" conducted by IMF Resident Representative in Armenia, Nienke Oomes, on March 13, 2009, in YSU Conference Hall. The lecture presented the main findings of a recent IMF paper developed by Dr. Oomes together with former and current economists in the IMF Armenia Office (G. Minasyan and A. Stepanyan).

The estimation of the equilibrium exchange rate for Armenia was presented using three different approaches: the purchasing power parity (PPP) approach, the behavioral equilibrium exchange rate (BEER) approach, and the external sustainability (ES) approach. All three approaches suggested that the dram was overvalued by about 20–30 percent prior to the devaluation of the dram in March 2009.

March 6, 2009

Accessing and Using JSTOR

JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is an online system for archiving academic journals, founded in 1995. It provides full-text searches of digitized back issues of several hundred well-known journals in order to help the scholarly community discover, use, and build upon a wide range of intellectual content. An orientation training, conducted by CRRC-Armenia librarian/ information specialist Gohar Khachatryan on March 6, 2009, addressed the issues on how to access JSTOR free, and how to use JSTOR interface.

January 27, 2009

Northern Caucasus: The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Prevention

The project "Cooperation for the Prevention of Ethnic Conflicts" has started in November 2007 with the financial assistance from "The Conflict Prevention Pool" British foundation and carried out by the CIC and the Caucasus Section of the Institute of Ethnology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The project aimed to assess the interethnic situation in Northern Caucasus and around it and to specify the role of civil society in interethnic conflict prevention process. Within the project, three conferences took place, and the materials have been published in a separate book, which is available for download here.

On January 9, 2009, CRRC-Armenia, together with the Center for Interethnic Cooperation (CIC, Moscow), hold the project and book presentation on the topic of Northern Caucasus and the role of civil society in conflict prevention. The presentation was conducted by the director of the CIC, Ashot Hayrapetyan.