March 10, 2014
Country has most think-tanks in the region
“What is an ego?” someone asks. “It’s the little Argentine we have in all of us,” he responds. This classic joke is well known amongst Argentines, who often like to joke about the oft-mocked penchant to look at one’s navel.
And while the characteristic has been a boon for the psychology profession, a new US study revealed another likely result of this eagerness to constantly analyze reality: Argentina has the highest number of think-tanks in the region.
The perhaps enviable ranking may lead some to wonder why it is that having so many think-tanks does not translate into original ideas. But perhaps Argentina’s problems are more difficult to solve than others.
A new study by the University of Pennsylvania, which was released locally yesterday by the Argentina Council for International Relations (CARI), revealed Argentina does not just have the highest number of psychologists per capita — it also has the third-largest number of think tanks per capita in the world, beat only by the United States and the United Kingdom.
That means Argentina doesn’t just have the most professionals per capita in the world analyzing personal problems but also almost wins the record for having the most professional organizations in the world per capita analyzing society’s problems.
The 2013 Upenn Global go to Think Tank Ranking, detailed that Argentina had 137 organizations dedicated to investigation and research, ranking seventh in the world and first in Latin America — with 56 more think tanks than Brazil, which ranked in the 13th spot.
The countries that led the survey, surpassing Argentina were the United States with 1,828, followed by China with 426, the UK with 287, India with 268, Germany with 194 and France with 177.
The country’s foremost “think tanks” attended the event held by CARI, in a meeting where information was being presented simultaneously in more than 20 or so cities around the world. Besides publicizing the ranking, the study also highlighted the role think tanks play globally in society and in their respective governments.
In Argentina, CARI maintained its position as the number one think tank in the Spanish-speaking “global category” and led the country’s list placing 37th in the global rank. Following it was the Rosario Freedom Foundation obtaining the 100th place.
When it comes to the “South and Central America” category, the Centre for Public Policy implementation for Equality and Growth (CIPPEC) maintained its position as first in Argentina and fifth in the region.
The members that were in attendance in representation of their organizations at the meeting were José María Llado of CARI, José Octavio Bordón of CIPPEC, and PRO legislator Iván Petrella for the Pensar Foundation.
The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) by the University of Pennsylvania’s International Relations programme was established in 1989. Its aim is to “promote a global initiative that will help bridge the gap between knowledge and policy in critical policy areas such as international peace and security, globalization and governance.”
The programme maintains a database with a network of more than 6,600 “think tanks” in 152 countries with the first index having been published in 2007.