Russia needs to create a network of regional think tanks

2 april 2018

"Top-100 think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe include 14 Russian organizations, including the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation," said Analytical Center expert Alexander Golyashev, speaking at a round table on the Role and Development Prospects of the Russian Think Tanks.

In his report, the expert talked about foreign think tanks and the role of the Russian organizations in the global system of think tanks, as well as the development prospects of regional think thanks in Russia; he also talked about the work of the Analytical Center.

"In 2017, University of Pennsylvania specialists significantly expanded the list of think thanks they assess in the annually published rating of analytical centers Global Go To Think Tank Index," Mr. Golyashev said. "The most recent index includes 7815 think tanks from around the world. About a fourth of the total are based in the USA, while Russia, with 103 think tanks, shares the 9th and 10th places with Italy. The top-25 analytical centers in the world include 10 American ones and one Russian Moscow Carnegie Center. The top-100 think tanks outside the USA include two more Russian organizations: the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations."

According to the expert, 12 out of the 14 best think tanks in Russia, including the Analytical Center, are based in Moscow, while the other two are based in Saint Petersburg. This has to do with the fact that these organizations deal with nation-wide issues as well as with the fact that the best qualified specialists tend to gravitate to the two capitals.

Mr. Golyashev believes that Russian needs to create a network of regional think tanks tasked with tackling local development problems. Today, it is often the case that strategic documents for the Russian regions and cities are written by Moscow experts, however, what regional think tanks could potentially bring to the table are better awareness of the local problems, as well as closer and more frequent contacts with the decision makers in a specific region/city.

The expert also talked about the key issues that new think tanks, including the regional ones, have to deal with as they organize their business processes.