A think tank (or policy institute) is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military or technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax exempt status. Other think tanks are funded by governments, advocacy groups, or businesses, or derive revenue from consulting or research work related to their projects. A few have endowments.
· 2 Types
· 9 Notes
While the term "think tank" originated in the 1950s, organizations date to the 19th century. The Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) was founded in 1831 in London. The Fabian Society in Britain dates from 1884. The Brookings Institution began in Washington in 1916.
After 1945, the number of think tanks grew, as many smaller new think tanks were formed to express various issue and policy agendas. Until the 1940s, most think tanks were known only by the name of the institution. During the Second World War, think tanks were referred to as "brain boxes" after the slang term for the skull. The phrase "think tank" in wartime American slang referred to rooms in which strategists discussed war planning. The term think tank itself, however, was originally used in reference to organizations that offered military advice, most notably the RAND Corporation, founded originally in 1946 as an offshoot of Douglas Aircraft and which became an independent corporation in 1948.
For most of the 20th century, independent public policy think tanks that performed research and provided advice on public policy were an organizational phenomenon found primarily in the United States, with a much smaller number in Canada and Western Europe. Although think tanks existed in Japan for some time they generally lacked independence, having close ties to government ministries or corporations. There has been a veritable proliferation of “think tanks” around the world that began in the 1980s as a result of the forces of globalization, the end of the Cold War, and the emergence of transnational problems. Two-thirds of all the think tanks that exist today were established after 1970 and over half were established since 1980.
The impact of globalization on the think tank movement is most evident in regions such as Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and parts of Southeast Asia, where there was a concerted effort by the international community to support the creation of independent public policy research organizations. A recent survey conducted by the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program underscores the significance of this effort and documents the fact that most of the think tanks in these regions have been established in the last 10 years. Today there are over 4,500 of these institutions around the world. Many of the more established think tanks, having been created during the Cold War, are focused on international affairs, security studies, and foreign policy.
Also see the UNDP definition.
Think tanks vary by ideological perspectives, sources of funding, issue focus and prospective audience. Some think tanks, such as theHeritage Foundation, which promotes conservative principles, and the Center for American Progress on the progressive front, are more partisan in purpose. Others, including the Tellus Institute, which focuses on social and environmental topics, are more issue-oriented groups. Still others, such as the Cato Institute, promote libertarian social and economic theories based on Friedrich von Hayek's idea of free markets and individual liberty.
Funding sources and the targeted audiences also define the workings of think tanks. Some receive direct government support, while others rely on private individual or corporate donors. This will invariably affect the levels of academic freedom within each think tank and to whom or what the institution feels beholden. Funding may also reflect who or what the institution wants to influence; in the United States, for example, "Some donors want to influence votes in Congress or shape public opinion, others want to position themselves or the experts they fund for future government jobs, while others want to push specific areas of research or education."
A new trend, resulting from globalization, is collaboration between think tanks across continents. For instance, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace operates offices in Washington, D.C., Beijing, Beirut, Brussels and Moscow.
The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) annually rates think tanks worldwide in a number of categories and presents its findings in the GLOBAL “GO-TO THINK TANKS” rating index.
Mendizabal show that in Latin America think tanks can play a number of functions depending on their origins, historical development and relations to other policy actors. In this study, Orazio Bellettini from Grupo FARO suggests that they:
1. Seek political support for policies – This is an accepted definition of the main role of think tanks across the world.
2. Legitimise policies – This has been clearer in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. New governments in Ecuador and Peru have approached think tanks for support for already defined policies. In Bolivia, the government led by Evo Morales has been working with NGOs and other research centres to do the same. However, in the Chilean context, many think tanks during the 1990s appeared to support and maintain the legitimacy of policies implemented during the previous decade by the dictator Augusto Pinochet.
3. Spaces of debate – In this case think tanks serve as sounding boards for new policies. In Chile, during the Pinochet dictatorship, many left wing intellectuals and researchers found ‘asylum’ in think tanks. In Ecuador, think tanks are seen as spaces where politicians can test the soundness of their policies and government plans.
4. Financial channels for political parties or other interest groups – In Ecuador and Bolivia, German foundations have been able to provide funds to think tanks that work with certain political parties. This approach has provided support to the system as a whole rather than individual CSOs.
5. Expert cadres of policy-makers and politicians – In Peru after the fall of the Fujimori regime, and in Chile after the fall of Pinochet, think tank staff left to form part of the new governments. In the U.S., the role of leading think tanks is precisely that: host scholars for a few months or years and then see them off to work in policy.
How a think tank addresses these largely depends on how they work, their ideology vs. evidence credentials, and the context they operate in (including funding opportunities, the degree and type of competition they face, their staff, etc.).
This functional approach addresses the inherit challenge of defining a think tank. As Simon James aptly noted in 1998, "Discussion of think tanks…has a tendency to get bogged down in the vexed question of defining what we mean by ‘think tank’ – an exercise which often degenerates into futile semantics. It is better (as in the Network Functions Approach) to describe what the organisation should do. Then the shape of the organisation should follow to allow this to happen. The following framework (based on Stephen Yeo’s description of think tanks’ mode of work) in the described in Enrique Mendizabal's blog: onthinktanks.
First, think tanks may work in or based their funding on one or more ways, including:
1. Independent research: this would be work done with core or flexible funding that allows the researchers the liberty to choose their research questions and method. It may be long term and could focus on ‘big ideas’ with no direct policy relevance. On the other hand, it could focus on a key policy problem that requires a thorough research and action investment.
2. Consultancy: this would be work done through commissions with specific clients and addressing one or two key questions. Consultancies often respond to an existing agenda.
3. Influencing/advocacy: this would be work done through communications, capacity development, networking, campaigns, lobbying, etc. It is likely to be based on research based evidence emerging from independent research or consultancies.
Second, think tanks may base their work or arguments on:
1. Ideology, values or interests
2. Applied, empirical or synthesis research
3. Theoretical or academic research
According to the National Institute for Research Advancement, a Japanese think tank, think tanks are "one of the main policy actors in democratic societies ..., assuring a pluralistic, open and accountable process of policy analysis, research, decision-making and evaluation". A study in early 2009 found a total of 5,465 think tanks worldwide. Of that number, 1,777 were based in the United States and approximately 350 in Washington DC alone.
In some cases, corporate interests have found it useful to create "think tanks." For example, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalitionwas formed in the mid 1990s to dispute research finding a link between second-hand smoke and cancer. According to an internal memo from Philip Morris, "the credibility of the EPA is defeatable, but not on the basis of ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) alone. It must be part of a larger mosaic that concentrates all the EPA's enemies against it at one time."
According to the left-wing NGO Fair.org, right-wing think tanks are often quoted and rarely labeled. The result is that sometimes think tank "experts" are depicted as neutral sources without any ideological predispositions when, in fact, they represent a particular perspective. In the field of education, think tank publications are subjected to expert review by the National Education Policy Center's "Think Twice" think tank review project.
Republic of Korea
In Korea, The National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences(NRCS) is a public institution which supported 23 related research institutes in their quest to achieve the effective management and improvement of their research environment under the Prime Minister. It was established with the objective of supporting and fostering research institutes in the area of economics and social science and systematically supervising them in their contributions to the production of high-quality national policy research and the development of a concrete knowledge industry. The NRCS was reorganized in 2005 through the merger of the Korea Council of Economic and Social Research Institutes and the Korea Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences established separately in 1999.
The Center for Free Enterprise (Korea) is a free market think tank located in Seoul, South Korea, with pages in both English (http://eng.cfe.org) and Korean (http://www.cfe.org).
In the People's Republic of Bangladesh a number of think tanks are working on foreign policy and security issues. Most of these are based inDhaka. The Centre for International Affairs is one of them. It was established by Dr. Ataur Rahman Khan, Professor of International Relations in Jahagirnagar University. It is now incorporated with the Department of International Relations, Jahangirnagar University.
In the People's Republic of China a number of think tanks are sponsored by governmental agencies, like Development Research Center of the State Council, but still retain sufficient non-official status to be able to propose and debate ideas more freely. Indeed, most of the actualdiplomacy between China and the United States has taken the form of academic exchanges between members of think tanks.
In Hong Kong, those early think tanks established in the late 1980s and early 1990s focused on the political development including first direct Legislative Council members election in 1991 and the political framework of "One Country, Two Systems" manifested in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. After the transfer of sovereignty to China in 1997, more and more think tanks were established by various groups of intellectuals and professionals. They have various missions and objectives including promoting civic education; undertaking research on economic social and political policies; promoting "public understanding of and participation in the political, economic, and social development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".
India has the third largest number of think tanks in the world. Many are based in New Delhi, and a few are government sponsored. A number of these work on foreign policy and security issues. There are few think tanks like Centre for Civil Society who promote liberal social and economic ideas and others like Rakshak Foundation who encourage students to do empirical research and gain first hand experience in public policy issues.
Islamic Republic of Iran
Several organizations were established in IR Iran since late 90’s which offer a unique blend of interdisciplinary research. Their focuses have been to provide social managers and make policies. Andishkadeh Yaghin(CBSDA), Atinegaar Think Tank, Nano Health Think Tank, ASEF Think tank, Seywan Institute, and Sharif Think tank & Polytechnic Think Tank are some famous Think tanks in this region.In Persian language called "Andishkadeh" instead Think-tank are used.
Malaysia has a few number of think tanks, most which are government or political party related. Their focuses have been on defence, politics and policies. Notable ones include the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysian Strategic Research Centre (MSRC), International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA). IDEAS is Malaysia's first classical liberal think tank which is policy oriented.
Pakistan has a number of think tanks which mainly revolve around Internal Politics, Foreign Security Issues, and Regional Geo-Politics. Most of these are centered around the capital, Islamabad, and have been founded by former Military and Intelligence Personnel. Most recently, institutes such as the National University of Sciences and Technology have embarked on creating industrial linkages to create think tanks focusing on industrial and economic growth issues.
Other think tanks concern religion and how its influence could grow in an already religious country. These are centred throughout the country and work under the umbrella of the mammoth Jamaat-e-Islami with headquarters in Lahore and has immense global influence, reach and regard among more traditional Muslims. However the Jamat is a political party, and affiliations with reputable think tanks in Pakistan are not clear.
There are several other think tanks as well, such as those concerning the state of education in the country which hold many former or present educationists. There are also think tanks concerning human rights, women rights, labour rights, justice, city development, heritage protection and environmental protection, all headed by the country's urban dwelling, educated elite living, most of whom have studied and/or worked abroad. There remains a vacuum for former high ranking Government officials and party members to contribute to the think tank and policy advocacy process in these areas.
Some notable Pakistani think tanks are the Institute of Policy Studies, the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs and the Corporate Advisory Council (NUST).
Most are known to the general public through seminars and newspaper articles, or conducting workshops and lectures at colleges and universities.
Sri Lanka has a number of think tanks that are in the form governmental, non-governmental and corporate organizations. Recently, the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka (formerly known as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) established a "Foreign Policy Think Tank" to facilitate the professional advancement of the country's foreign policy and the conduct of its external affairs. The structure of government Think Tanks in Sri Lanka are structured with the help of many academics and intellectuals affiliated with the government.
The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies is a regionally acclaimed policy-studies institute which is often referred to as a think tank. The Institute of Policy Studies in Colombo is another policy planning related think tank. The International Center for Ethnic Studies (located both in Colombo and Kandy) is another research-related think tank. There are several other focus-research institutes throughout the country that may be referred to as Think Tanks, such as the Marga Institute of Sri Lanka.
Other think tanks in Sri Lanka include the Islamic Think Tank and the Sri Lanka Think Tank - UK. Many private and government universities in Sri Lanka have research-related think tanks.
There are 12 think tanks in Azerbaijan according to The University of Pennsylvania. The Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) from Azerbaijan ranked as one of the top think tanks in the world by The University of Pennsylvania, USA in Global "Go-To Think Tanks" Report in 2010. According to the University of Pennsylvania rankings - a result of surveys from 1500 scholars and peer review evaluation -the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) is one of the top 25 think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, including CIS. CESD is the only think tank from the Caucasus and Central Asia included in the top think tanks rankings.
Brussels hosts most of the European Institutions, hence a large number of international think tanks are based there. Among them there is the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), the Global Governance Institute (GGI), the European Policy Centre (EPC), ThinkYoung, the Friends of Europe, the Lisbon Council, the European Centre of International Political Economy (ECIPE), Centre for the New Europe (CNE) and BRUEGEL. The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), though based in London, is a network of researchers based throughout Europe that contributes actively to European policy debates.
Bulgaria has a number of think tanks providing expertise and shaping policies. Most active are:
§ Institute of Modern Politics - focused on legislation and parliamentary conduct from human rights and good governance perspective;
§ Center for the Study of Democracy - working on anti-corruption and judicial reform issues;
§ Institute on Market Economy - budget and macroeconomy.
The Association for International Affairs is a Czech think-tank in the field of international politics and diplomacy. Its focus is on three areas:education (with the largest educational project in Central Europe, the Prague Student Summit), research (at its Research Center) andinternational outreach (currently in Belarus and other countries).
Finland has many interesting small think tanks that provide expertise in very specific fields. Vasemmistofoorumi researches the future of leftism, OK Do is socially-minded design thinking organization, Demos Helsinki is a think tank that researches future society and Culture Crisis Management is political artists' think tank, just to mention few.
In addition to specific independent think tanks, the largest political parties have their own think tank organizations. This is mainly due to support granted by state for such activity. The corporate world has focused their efforts to central representative organization EK, which acts as think tank in addition to negotiating salaries with workers unions.
In Germany all of the major parties are loosely associated with research foundations that play some role in shaping policy, but generally from the more disinterested role of providing research to support policymakers than explicitly proposing policy. These include the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (SPD-aligned), the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (CDU-aligned), the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung (CSU-aligned), the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung(aligned with the Greens), Friedrich Naumann Foundation (liberal-aligned) and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (aligned with far left).
The German Institute for International and Security Affairs is a prominent example of a German foreign policy think tank. Atlantic Communitythink tank is an example of independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization which was set up as a joint project of Atlantische Initiative e.V. and Atlantic Initiative U.S.
The German Institute for International and Security Affairs is a prominent example of a German foreign policy think tank. Atlantic Communitythink tank is an example of independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization which was set up as a joint project of Atlantische Initiative e.V. and Atlantic Initiative U.S.
See also: List of Greek think tanks
§ AIX Group-Joint Palestinian-Israeli-International Economic Working Group
§ Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
§ The Center for the Study of Philanthropy in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
§ The Institute for Advanced Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
§ The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI)
§ The Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel, The Hebrew University
All major political parties in the Netherlands have state-sponsored research foundations that play a role in shaping policy. The Dutch government also has its own think tank: the Scientific Council for Government Policy. One of the oldest think tanks in the Netherlands is theTransnational Institute in Amsterdam (1974)
There is a large pool of think-tanks in Poland; none of them stands out however. The oldest state-sponsored think tank is the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) established in 1947. The second most important state-sponsored think tank is the Centre for Eastern Studies(OSW), which specialises in the post-Communist space. Among the private think tanks the most important are: the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) on economic policy, demosEUROPA on EU affairs, the Institute of Public Affairs (ISP) on social policy and the Center for International Affairs (CSM).
Contraditório think tank was founded in 2008. Contraditório is a non-profit, independent and non-partisan think tank.
Romania's largest think tank is the Romanian Academic Society (SAR), which was founded in 1996.
Russian think tanks have experienced a precipitous decline over the past five years.[when?] Think tanks under the Soviet Union, analogous to their American counterparts, grew to play a significant role in strategic policy formation. During the era of glasnost, begun by Soviet leaderMikhail Gorbachev and continuing under Russian President Boris Yeltsin, public think tanks and policy organizations underwent a brief blooming. However, as economic problems intensified under Yeltsin, and political pressure on public organizations grew under PresidentVladimir Putin, most of the Russian think tanks have withered away while those who stood closer to Kremlin saw a recent revival.
In Spain, think tanks are progressively raising their public profile. There are now at least 30 think tanks in the country. One of the most influential Spanish think tanks is the Elcano Royal Institute, created in 2001 following the example of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in the UK, although it is closely linked to (and receives funding from) the Socialist government in power. More independent but clearly to the left of the political spectrum are the Centro de Investigaciones de Relaciones Internacionales y Desarrollo (CIDOB) founded in 1973; and the Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) established in 1999 by Diego Hidalgo and main driving force behind projects such as the Club de Madrid, a group of democratic former heads of state and government, or the Foreign Policy Spanish Edition. Former Prime Minister José Maria Aznar presides over the Fundación para el Analisis y los Estudios Sociales (FAES), a policy institute that is associated with the conservative Popular Party (PP). Also linked to the PP is the Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos (GEES), which is known for its defense- and security-related research and analysis. For its part, the Fundación Alternativas is independent but close to left-wing ideas. The Socialist Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) has created a new think tank called the Fundación Ideas. More specialized think tanks has also emerged in Spain during the past 10 years, like the Future Trends Forum from Bankinter Foundation, a unique think tank in Europe, focused on detecting social, economic, scientific and technological trends and analyzing their possible application and impact on current business models.
The biggest think tank in Sweden is the free-market oriented Timbro.
Turkish think tanks are relatively new. Many of them are sister organizations of a political party or a company. University think tanks are not typical think tanks. Most Turkish think tanks provide research and ideas, yet they play less important roles in policy making when compared with American think tanks. There are at least 20 think tanks in the country. One of the most influential and oldest Turkish think tanks is the International Strategic Research Organisation or USAK.
In Great Britain, think tanks play a similar role to the United States, attempting to shape policy, and indeed there is some cooperation between British and American think tanks. For example, the London-based think tank Chatham House and the Council on Foreign Relationswere both conceived at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 and have remained sister organizations.
Main article: List of think tanks in the United States
The first American think tank was the Brookings Institution, founded in 1916 as the Institute for Government Research (IGR), with the mission of becoming "the first private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues at the national level." The Air force set up the RAND Corporation in 1946 to think about air power.
In 1971 Lewis F. Powell Jr. urged conservatives to retake command of public discourse by "financing think tanks, reshaping mass media and seeking influence in universities and the judiciary." In the following decades conservative policies once considered outside the liberal mainstream—such as abolishing welfare, privatizing Social Security, deregulating banking, embracing preemptive war—were taken seriously and sometimes passed into law thanks to the work of the Hoover Institution, Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and smaller tanks.
Think tanks help shape both foreign and domestic policy. They receive funding from private donors, and members of private organizations. Think tanks may feel more free to propose and debate controversial ideas than people within government. The liberal media watchgroupFairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has identified the top 25 think tanks by media citations, noting that from 2006 to 2007 the number of citations declined 17%. The FAIR report reveals the ideological breakdown of the citations: 37% conservative, 47% centrist, and 16% liberal. Their data show that the most-cited think tank was the Brookings Institution, followed by the Council on Foreign Relations, theAmerican Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
A database of articles released by these organizations can be found here: The Think Bank.
Government think tanks are also important in the United States, particularly in the security and defense field. These include the Institute for National Strategic Studies, Institute for Homeland Security Studies, and the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, at theNational Defense University; the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the Naval War College and the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College.
The government funds, wholly or in part, activities at approximately 30 Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs). FFRDCs, are unique independent nonprofit entities sponsored and funded by the U.S. government to meet specific long-term technical needs that cannot be met by any other single organization. FFRDCs typically assist government agencies with scientific research and analysis, systems development, and systems acquisition. They bring together the expertise and outlook of government, industry, and academia to solve complex technical problems. These FFRDCs include the RAND Corporation, the MITRE Corporation, the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Aerospace Corporation, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and other organizations supporting various departments within the U.S. Government.
Similar to the above quasi-governmental organizations are Federal Advisory Committees. These groups, sometimes referred to as commissions, are a form of think tank dedicated to advising the US Presidents or the Executive branch of government. They typically focus on a specific issue and as such, might be considered similar to special interest groups. However, unlike special interest groups these committees have come under some oversight regulation and are required to make formal records available to the public. Approximately 1,000 these advisory committees are described in the FACA searchable database.
There are 12 think tanks in Azerbaijan according to University of Pennsylvania researches. Some of them are followings;
The Center for Economic and Social Development, or CESD; in Azeri, İqtisadi və Sosial İnkişaf Mərkəzi (İSİM) is an Azeri think tank, non-profit organization, NGO based in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Center was established in 2005.
CESD focuses on policy advocacy and reform, and is involved with policy research and capacity building. CESD involves leading researchers prominent in their fields and enjoys a broad regional and international networking. CESD has been set up to promote research into domestic and regional economic and social issues, advocacy towards reforms and capacity building for the purpose to positively impact the policy making and improve the participation.
CESD ranked as one of the top think tanks in the world by The University of Pennsylvania, USA in Global "Go-To Think Tanks" Report in 2010. According to the University of Pennsylvania rankings - a result of surveys from 1500 scholars and peer review evaluation - the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD) is one of the top 25 think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe, including CIS. CESD is the only think tank from the Caucasus and Central Asia included in the top think tanks rankings.CESD is also ranked as one of the top 25 domestic economic policy thinks tanks in the world. Only CESD (ranked 19) and the Center for Economic and Social Research (CASE), (Poland, ranked 21) were included in the list from Central and Eastern Europe and CIS countries.
The Economic Research Centre (ERC) is a policy-research oriented non-profit think tank established in 1999 with a mission to facilitate sustainable economic development and good governance in the new public management system of Azerbaijan. It seeks to do this by building favorable interactions between the public, private and civil society and working with different networks both in local (EITI NGO Coalition, National Budget Group, Public Coalition Against Poverty and etc.) and international levels (PWYP, IBP, ENTO, ALDA, PASOS, WTO NGO Network and etc).
Most Australian think tanks are based at universities - for example, the Melbourne Institute - or are government funded - for example, the Productivity Commission or the CSIRO.
There are also about 20-30 "independent" Australian think tanks, which are funded by private sources. The best-known of these think tanks play a much more limited role in Australian public and business policy making than in the United States. However, in the past decade the number of think tanks has increased substantially. Prominent Australian conservative think tanks include The Centre for Independent Studies, the Sydney Institute and the Institute of Public Affairs. Prominent progressive Australian think tanks include Per Capita, the Australia Institute, Lowy Institute and the Centre for Policy Development.
Brazil hosts pro-market independent think tanks working on public policies. Among them is Instituto Liberdade, a University-based Center at Tecnopuc inside the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, located in the South Region of the country, at the city of Porto Alegre. Instituto Liberdade is among the Top 40 think tanks in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the 2009 Global Go To Think Tanks Index , a report from the University of Pennsylvania - Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP). Fundação Getulio Vargas(Getulio Vargas Foundation, often abbreviated as FGV or simply GV) is a Brazilian higher education institution founded on December 20, 1944. It offers regular courses of Economics, Business Administration, Law, Social Sciences and Information technology management. Its original goal was to train people for the country's public- and private-sector management. Other courses began to be offered as the institution grew. It is considered by Foreign Policy magazine to be a top-5 "policymaker think-tank" worldwide.
Canada has many think tanks: The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, Solutions Think Tank, The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, The Canadian European Economic Council (CEE Council), a Franco-Canadian research center, Cardus, C.D Howe Institute, Centre for International Governance Innovation, The Conference of Defence Associations, Conference Board of Canada, Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Council of Canadians, Canada West Foundation, Fraser Institute, Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Institute for Public Economics, Canadian Council on Social Development, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Canadian Employment Research Forum, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, North-South Institute, Canadian International Council, Parkland Institute, Canadian Labour and Business Centre,Pembina Institute, Public Policy Forum, Canadian Tax Foundation, Western Centre for Economic Research, Centre for Trade Policy and Law. Each have their specific areas of interest with some overlaps. Many think tanks have closed their doors in Canada, including most recentlyCanadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN).
Ghana's first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, set up various state-supported think tanks in the 1960s. By the 1990s, a variety of policy research centers sprang up in Africa set up by academics who sought to influence public policy in Ghana.
One such think tank was The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana which was founded in 1989 at a time when the country was ruled by theProvisional National Defence Council. The IEA undertakes and publishes research on a range of economic and governance issues confrontingGhana and Sub-Saharan Africa. It has also been involved in bringing political parties together to engage in dialogue. In particular it has organised Presidential debates every election year since the Ghanaian presidential election, 1996.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica is an agency of the Office of the Prime Minister that is "committed to leading the process of policy formulation on economic and social issues and external co-operation management to achieve sustainable development."
§ The Amadeus Institute is an independent Moroccan think tank, founded in 2008 and based in Rabat. Its acts as a laboratory of ideas, a brainstorming platform and a creator of debates. It came to life in order to contribute to the Moroccan and Maghreban public debate. It also acts as the Voice of the South to communicate its vision and concerns at the global level. The Amadeus Institute has a double role: analysis and creating debates. It operates as a laboratory of ideas and a unique creator of debates. It is at the same time a centre of reflection, dialogue proposition and consultancy, but also a platform of exchanges, meetings and North-South and South-South cooperation.
§ Mazagan InstituteMazagan Institute promotes the development of intercultural dialogue, bringing people together through culture and the development of cultural activities based on the diversity of disciplines, thematic approaches, stakeholders, forms, audiences, and places of achievement in promoting youth participation in projects related to urban culture and social development ... Awaken in them the notion of citizenship and social integration ... a conception of culture for which the Institute Mazagan engages and advocates.
IMCO - The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad A.C.) is a think-tank that focuses on public-policy research and solutions. IMCO was created in 2004 with the goal of promoting public policies to boost Mexico's competitiveness -defined as a country's capacity to attract and keep investments and talent. IMCO regularly undertakes projects with various international organizations such as the World Bank and its Doing Business report, the OECD and the Inter American Development Bank (IADB).
Fundación Ethos- is a non profit, non partisan Think Tank, committed to the analysis of issues of relevance for Mexico and Latin America’s development, as well as to the evaluation and design of technically sound public policies.
CIDAC - The Center of Research for Development (Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo, Asociación Civil, or CIDAC) is a not-for-profit think tank that undertakes research and proposes viable policy options for Mexico's economic and democratic development. The organization seeks to promote open, pluralistic debate pursuing: the Rule of Law & Democracy, market economics, social development, and strengthening Mexico-U.S. relations.
CIDE, acronym for Economic Theaching and researching center (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas), is one of the most important think tank institutes. The researching lines are the "public policies", "public choice", "democracy", and "economy".
CED - Center for Economic Development (Центр Содействия Экономическому Развитию) is a think-tank which major tasks are: analytic support in economic reforming and development in Uzbekistan; improving knowledge and skills of the subjects of economic development; assistance in productive dialogue between the government, civil society and private sectors on the economic development matters. Key projects: Preparation of the National human development report for Uzbekistan, Sociological "portrait" of the Uzbek businessman, Preparation of an analytical report on export procedures optimization in Uzbekistan, various industry and marketing researches in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
§ Idasa: Frederik Van Zyl Slabert, and Alex Borain.
§ F W De Klerk Foundation
Centro Internacional Miranda
Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento Económico para la Libertad (CEDICE).
Norberto Ceresole (deceased)
Jose Vicente Rangel
Hayman El Troudi
1. ^ Diane Stone 'Think Tanks and Policy Analysis', in Frank Fischer, Gerald J. Miller. & Mara S. Sidney (eds.) Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Methods, and Politics, New York, Marcel Dekker Inc. 2006: 149-157
2. ^ a b McGann, James. "Think Tanks and the Transnationalization of Foreign Policy". Foreign Policy Research Institute.
3. ^ a b c Singer, Peter. "Washington's Think Tanks: Factories to Call Our Own", The Brookings Institution, 13 August 2010.
4. ^ Mendizabal Enrique (2009) Think tanks and political parties in Latin America, Background Paper:http://www.odi.org.uk/events/2009/03/10/443-think-tanks-political-parties.pdf
5. ^ Mendizabal, Enrique y Kristen Sample (eds) (2009) Dime a quien escuchas... Think Tanks y Partidos Politicos en America Latina, ODI/IDEA: Lima
22. ^ Lewis F. Powell, "Attack on the American Free Enterprise System." 1971 memorandum to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
23. ^ Murray L. Weidenbaum, The Competition of Ideas: The World of the Washington Think Tanks (2011)
24. ^ Donald E. Abelson, Do Think Tanks Matter?: Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes (2009) pp 168-79
§ Abelson, Donald E. Do Think Tanks Matter? Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002.
§ Boucher, Stephen, et al., Europe and its think tanks; a promise to be fulfilled. An analysis of think tanks specialised in European policy issues in the enlarged European Union, Studies and Research No 35, October, Paris, Notre Europe, 2004 
§ Cockett, Richard, Thinking the unthinkable: think tanks and the economic counter revolution; 1931 - 1983, London: Fontana, 1995
§ Dickson, Paul. "Think Tanks". New York: Ballantine Books, 1972. 397 pages.
§ Goodman, John C. "What is a Think Tank?" National Center for Policy Analysis, 2005.
§ Fan, Maureen. "Capital Brain Trust Puts Stamp on the World", Washington Post (16 May 2005): B01.
§ Patrick Dixon. Futurewise - Six Faces of Global Change - issues covered by Think Tanks and methodology for reviewing trends, impact on policy 2003): Profile Books
§ Hellebust, Lynn and Kristen Hellebust, editors. Think Tank Directory: A Guide to Independent Nonprofit Public Policy Research Organizations. Topeka, Kansas: Government Research Service, 2006 (2nd edition).
§ Lakoff, George. Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals Don't. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
§ Ladi, Stella. Globalisation, Policy Transfer And Policy Research Institutes, Edward Elgar, 2005.
§ Mendizabal, Enrique and Kristen Sample (2009) "Dime a quien escuchas... Think Tanks y Partidos Politicos en America Latina", ODI/IDEA: Lima
§ McGann, James (2006) Comparative Think Tanks, Politics And Public Policy, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing
§ Ranquet, Robert. Think Tanks and the National Security Strategy Formulation Process: A Comparison of Current American and French Patterns, 1997. 
§ Smith, James. A. The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite, New York: The Free Press, 1991.
§ Snider, J.H. "Strengthen Think Tank Accountability", Politico (3 February 2009).
§ Stone, Diane. 'RAPID Knowledge: ‘Bridging Research and Policy’ in International Development at the Overseas Development Institute', Public Administration and Development, 29, 2009: 303-15.
§ Stone, Diane. Capturing the Political Imagination: Think Tanks and the Policy Process, London: Frank Cass, 1996
§ Stone, Diane. 'Garbage Cans, Recycling Bins or Think Tanks? Three Myths about Policy Institutes', Public Administration, 85(2) 2007: 259-278
§ Stone, Diane, and Andrew Denham, eds. Think Tank Traditions: Policy Research and the Politics of Ideas. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004.
§ Struyk, Raymond J. Managing Think Tanks: Practical Guidance for Maturing Organizations, Budapest, Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative Washington DC., Urban Institute 2002
§ UNDP – United Nations Development Program. Thinking the Unthinkable, Bratislava, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, 2003
§ The Economist Magazine and NPR's Marketplace report: "Under the Influence: Think Tanks and The Money That Fuels Them"
§ Foreign Policy Research Institute, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program directory of over 5000 think tanks and research on the role and impact of think tanks.
§ PBS: Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg: "Thinking About Think Tanks" - interview with Christopher DeMuth, President of AEI, October 13, 2005
§ Enrique Mendizabal (Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute on the definition of think tanks: towards a more useful discussion -a new way of studying think tanks that focuses on their functions rather than form.