November 28, 2011

Lecture on Global Nuclear Technology Transfers and its Implications for the Caucasus

CRRC-Armenia, Yerevan State University and American University of Armenia organized a public lecture on “Global Nuclear Technology Transfers and its Implications for the Caucasus” conducted by Dr. Matthew Kroenig (Georgetown University, USA). The lecture was hosted by American University of Armenia on November 18, 2011.

The lecturer presented research from his recent book, Exporting the Bomb, in which he examines the historical transfer of sensitive nuclear materials and technology. In contrast to many analysts that consider nuclear transfers from an economic point of view, Dr. Kroenig argued that state decisions to provide nuclear assistance are the result of a coherent, strategic logic. He examined the most important historical cases, including France's nuclear assistance to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s; the Soviet Union's sensitive transfers to China from 1958 to 1960; China's nuclear aid to Pakistan in the 1980s; and Pakistan's recent technology transfers. After analyzing nuclear transfers in a global perspective, Dr. Kroenig discussed the implications of his research for nuclear smuggling in the Caucasus. The lecture was followed by a question-answer session and discussion.

The lecture was attended by different researchers, scholars and students.

Dr. Matthew Kroenig received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently specializes in nuclear deterrence and is a professor at Georgetown University, as well as a special advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense. He is the author of the book Exporting the Bomb: Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons (Cornell University Press, 2010), coauthor of The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and coeditor of Causes and Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation (Routledge, 2011).

November 4, 2011

Social Cohesion Research Data Presentation

On October 19th, 2011, the presentation on the survey of the level of social cohesion in Armenia was held at the Erebuni Hall, Erebuni Plaza, Yerevan, Armenia. The presentation was opened by Ms. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator/Resident Representative, and Mr. Vache Terteryan, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Territorial Administration, and hosted more than 50 people from different institutions. Hans Gutbrod, Regional Director, CRRC, presented the data with accents on challenges in socio-economic environment, apathy, distrust, opportunities, etc. The presentation was followed by a Q/A sessions that provide an arena for a lively discussion on the matters of a general concern.

The survey was conducted by CRRC-Armenia within the frames of UNDP "Enhancing Dialogue and Trust Building in Armenia" project and is the first comprehensive study on social cohesion in contemporary Armenian society. The nationwide survey captured 3170 records with adults over 18 years. Through quantitative and qualitative survey methods, CRRC-Armenia tried to outline the ways and patterns to improve the situation of social cohesion and to provide practical recommendations to those institutions that decide on the policies towards the change in the sphere. The survey revealed the potential in Armenian families, neighborhoods and local communities, and its main message is that whatever reforms are undertaken they should be targeted at local community’s level.

As UN residents coordinator Dafina Gercheva stated: "This research is only the very initial step. UNDP expects that it will trigger a countrywide discourse and more research. To that end, we will share the available database with the government, think tanks, universities and research centers across Armenia. UNDP expects this exercise to influence decision-making processes at all levels with the ultimate aim to equip national and local authorities with comprehensive social cohesion strategies.”