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News, Research and Events from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy
Baker Institute Update: Baker Institute Again Ranked a Top Five University-Affiliated Think Thank

February 10, 2017: In this edition
Baker Institute again ranked among world's top five university-affiliated think tanks

Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is ranked No. 4 among the top university-affiliated think tanks in the world, according to an annual index of global think tanks. The Baker Institute first rose to No. 4 in 2015 — up from No. 9 in 2014.

The survey ranked the institute’s Center for Energy Studies (CES) No. 2 among the world’s energy- and resource-policy think tanks, making it the No. 1 such think tank in the United States.  

Other university-affiliated think tanks in the world’s top five are Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (No. 1), Harvard’s Center for International Development (No. 2), the London School of Economics’ IDEAS/Public Policy Group (No. 3) and the University of Sussex’s Institute of Development Studies, U.K. (No. 5). The top-ranked global energy think tank is the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, U.K.   

The Baker Institute now ranks No. 17 among all think tanks in the U.S. — up from No. 18 in 2015 — and was also recognized in the category of “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedures.”

“These rankings reflect the Baker Institute’s increasingly meaningful impact on our nation’s policy and political dialogue,” said Baker Institute Director Edward Djerejian. “Our fellows, scholars and staff are to be commended for their dedication and work. We have formulated a comprehensive strategy for the future, which will enhance the growth, breadth and impact of the institute as we address the country’s most pressing public policy challenges.”

“We have an outstanding group of fellows, scholars, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students across multiple academic disciplines who contribute to our work on many different topics in the energy-environment arena,” said Kenneth B. Medlock III, CES senior director and the James A. Baker, III, and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics. “Our interdisciplinary approach to providing unbiased analysis of factors that shape the future of energy provides critical insights to policymakers, corporate leaders and the general public on a global, national and regional level.”

Founded in 1993, the Baker Institute has fellows and scholars who conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. Core fields of study include energy, the Middle East, Mexico, health care, taxes and public finance, entrepreneurship, international economics, science and technology, China, space policy and drug policy.

Established in 2006, the University of Pennsylvania Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program’s Global Go To Think Tank Index has become the gold standard of excellence for think tanks around the world and is widely cited by governments, donors, journalists and policymakers as the foremost guide to the performance of thousands of domestic and international public-policy centers.

The program’s report is compiled with assistance from more than 2,500 peer institutions and experts from the media, academia, public and private donor institutions and governments in the U.S. and around the globe.

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Building pluralistic and inclusive states post-Arab Spring

The political and social upheaval triggered by the 2011 Arab uprisings shows little sign of abating. U.S. and international policymakers continue to struggle to respond to the turmoil, and pluralistic societies that could help stabilize the region have failed to develop. The Baker Institute Center for the Middle East, in collaboration with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, recently hosted a panel of renowned Middle East and North Africa experts to discuss policy options that the new U.S. administration may consider to foster more inclusive and pluralistic systems in the region.
 
In his keynote address, His Excellency Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that the rule of law must apply to all: “Selective democracy is no democracy at all; supporting democratic principles only when your side wins does not work.” He advocated for governments to nurture a kind of citizenship that fosters an inclusive identity rather than a narrow form of nationalism.
 
Participants of a panel discussion then spoke about possible policy options and analyzed factors that could affect the growth of pluralism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Experts Amr Hamzawy, Mazen Hassan, Valentine Moghadam, Imad Salamey and Peter Salisbury covered a wide range of topics, from the vital connection between women’s empowerment and the flourishing of democracy, to the 2011 popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia that developed into social movements cutting across ethnic, religious and economic lines. 
 
“States with inclusive and growing economies, functional and pluralistic political institutions and protected political freedoms will be more stable, prosperous and better prepared for the challenges of the 21st century,” said Ambassador Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute.
 
This event marked the beginning of a two-year research project by the Baker Institute Center for the Middle East to identify effective and sustainable policy options in the MENA region. The project was made possible through a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Click here to watch the video of the event.

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Upcoming Events
  • BP Energy Outlook to 2035. At this event, BP executive Mark Finley discusses some of the key issues that will shape energy supply and demand through 2035 and explores possible alternative outcomes. February 22 | 8:15 am

For a complete list, visit our event page.

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Research and News

For a complete list, visit our research library.

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Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan, independent think tank in Houston, Texas. The institute's fellows and scholars conduct research and collaborate with experts from academia, government, the media, business and private organizations on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy.

The research and views expressed in publications are those of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

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