The Success of the Strategic Studies Centre, and Obstacles…

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 30 January / Jan 2017. 12:53 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The American University of Pennsylvania issued the annual global ranking of research and study centres for the year 2016, placing the Strategic Studies Centre, with the University of Jordan, first in the Middle East region, including —according to the report— Israel, Turkey, and Iran.

Regionally and across the Arab World, The Centre was ranked 6th and 3rd, respectively, succeeding some of the region’s most important and reputed centres, like the “Ahram Strategic Studies Centre”, the “AlJazeera Centre for Studies”, the Doha branch of the “Brookings Institute”, and the “Carnegie” centre in Beirut, not to mention other Iranian, Israeli, and Turkish centres.

Notably, the Strategic Studies Centre is the first Arab institution to ever make it into the list of the world’s best 155 global centres, ranked 133rd; up 7 points in the security and defence category, from 60th place to 53rd, and 5 places in the Foreign Policy category, from 48th to 43rd place, which means that considerable progress has been made globally and regionally, as well as in multiple fields related to the political sphere.

That said, it is perhaps even more vital that the Centre maintains its ranking across the Middle East and the Arab World, and globally, says the President of the University of Jordan, Dr Azmi Mahaftha, which would require a larger scientific and research method.

Mentionable is the evaluation process, which landed the Centre its ranking.

The Centre’s evaluation, its publications and intellectual and research activities, depends on a variety of criteria; including the size of financial and human resources, and its ability to influence society, based too on its media presence and reach.

Mindfully, one of these institution’s most important roles is to influence societies. And admittedly, we lack this kind of influence in our world today. These centres are often ignored and dismissed by our politicians and officials!

Some of public figures reduce the role of the Strategic Studies Centre to mere opinion gauging and surveys, which is an unfair minimisation; The Centre has conducted several studies on Islam, Extremism and Terrorism, many workshops, and have issued several political papers, which have become references and were classified as international literature, including “Islamic Solution in Jordan”, a book on Islamist movements, in addition to variety of other publications issued in cooperation with institutions around the world.

Recently, for example, the Centre conducted a workshop on the challenges facing Jordan in 2017, soon to issue a report on policy making under conditions of uncertainty.

Similarly, there are a dozen major project underway, like the predictive futuristic study on scenarios of Jordan in 2025, notwithstanding the many research projects in the fields of politics, sociology, energy and security.

So, I would like to seize this celebratory opportunity, as proud as we are, to emphasise the importance of reinforcing and advancing the Centre’s capacities.

The Centre is now working on the construction of a Jihadist Movement database in Jordan, which is instrumental to the advancement of its capacities, and still, we face rejection and dismissal by state institutions, despite the importance of our project.

When will our officials realise the vitality of research and knowledge centres?!

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.