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.