The Regional Studies Center (RSC) is an independent think tank engaged in a wide range of strategic analysis and research, developing policy initiatives aimed at bolstering political and economic reform and conflict resolution in the broader South Caucasus region.
As a leading think tank based in Armenia, the RSC strives to elevate the level of political discourse and deepen civic activism while broadening engagement in the public policy process. One of our core longer-term goals is to serve as a catalyst for reform and sustainable development by contributing to the formulation of public policy through innovative research and objective analysis.
Our research and project activities consist of five main program areas:
(1) Regional analysis of political, economic and security issues in the South Caucasus, but also including Iran, Russia and Turkey;
(2) National security and defense reform;
(3) Democratization and good governance;
(4) Economics and sustainable development;
(5) Educating and empowering youth as an “agent of change.”
Since our founding in 2012, the RSC has also offered a regular series of certificate-based professional development training courses, analytical briefings and interactive “focus groups,” and convenes simulation exercises focused on diplomatic negotiations and “war gaming” models.
Regional Studies Center (RSC)
60 Aram Street, #53, 3rd floor
0010 Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: (+374) 11 70 99 69
In an interview for the “Azeri Today” news agency website, RSC Director Richard Giragosian assessed the impact of the election of President Trump on U.S. policy on the region, with an added analysis of both Armenian-Russian relations and Russian “power and influence” in the South Caucasus. The interview was conducted in English but translated into Russian.
Commenting on the telephone call from U.S. Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence to Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Armenian Service, RSC Director Richard Giragosian explained that unlike the usual protocol of conversations between the U.S. presidents and heads of state, such as those between President-Elect Donald Trump and the presidents of Azerbaijan and Ukraine among others, the fact that the incoming U.S. Vice President called the Armenian president was a “breach of protocol that represents an unusual situation.” However, Giragosian downplayed the significance of that breach, saying that it “does not reflect any diplomatic insult.” Rather, he interpreted the call from Pence as a way to repair the damage from recent calls from Trump to other world leaders that were largely criticized, most notably including the Trump conversation with the Pakistani premier. Giragosian concluded by stressing that “therefore, I think that Washington apparently decided to place the call to the Armenian president and rely on the professional and experienced Vice President instead, which is probably better for Armenia.”
In the seventh article in our “RSC Guest Analysis” publication series, entitled “Land for Peace: A Comparative Analysis of the Cases of Israel and Nagorno-Karabakh,” RSC Resident Fellow Lynette Hacopian offers an innovative comparative assessment of the concept of “land for peace” in the cases of Israel and Nagorno-Karabakh. Hacopian argues that “of the many aspects of the complex Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the core issues of self determination and territorial integrity have presented a challenging clash or even contradiction of key principles of international law. Within the framework of diplomacy and mediation, there is also a related issue of the need for concession and compromise, largely defined by the surrender of Armenian-held, or ‘occupied,’ territories of Azerbaijan proper beyond the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh, in exchange for the self-determination of Karabakh through a referendum on final status.”
The Georgian Institute of Politics published the first issue of their new publication on 1 December 2016, entitled, “What Does the Russian-Armenian Joint Military Force Mean for Security in the South Caucasus?” In the first issue, at the request of the Georgian Institute of Politics, RSC Director Richard Giragosian joined a selection of experts from Italy, Georgia, and the United Kingdom for an analytical comment on the joint military force and its implications for security in the South Caucasus.
In an interview the Azerbaijani Meydan TV, RSC Director Richard Giragosian commented on his participation in an “Expert Panel” on the South Caucasus, held on 28-29 November and organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Foundation). The closed workshop focused on “current developments in Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus in light of internal transformations in Azerbaijan and Turkey.” The two-day workshop ended with a public session that featured a discussion between experts, scientists, political analysts, journalists and civil society representatives from a number of countries.