The ability of think tanks to engage and contribute with research findings to the improvement of policies and regulatory frameworks is an important factor for a comprehensive policy- and decision-making process.
These were the main conclusions on the position and importance of think tanks organised by PERFORM on March 21st in Tirana. At the event, Prof. Assoc. Nevila Xhindi and Prof. Adj. Renata Wloch presented the main findings of their research “Think Tanks’ Role in Policy Development in Albania”.
The main objective of the research was to assess the bridge between think tanks as important players in the strengthening of democracy and their role in the policy development processes. The research identifies the major characteristics of think tanks, their role in the domestic political system and the major challenges they face on the way to development.
The discussion evolved around the reasons why the number of organisations in Albania that may be recognised as pure think tanks is quite small, and why this community is quite unwilling to cooperate with the government. As the domestic power–knowledge nexus is deficient on the demand side, think tanks are thoroughly dependent on the foreign funding, which explains also why their research agenda reflects the priorities of the foreign donors. Nevertheless, think tanks constitute friendly and supportive environment for young researchers, helping them build their skills in carrying applicable social science. Most importantly, think tanks offer the young researchers access to their “social capital”, enabling them to build their professional career.