Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can Brookings Be Dethroned?

Can the Brookings Institution, which is considered the world's #1 think tank, ever be dethroned from its top position?  It seems that there are several scenarios where that could happen, although most currently seem unlikely.
  • Brookings loses funding or seriously mismanages its finances.  [The latest publicly available data shows Brookings with around $410 million in assets and $100+ million in total revenue for the most recent year.]
  • A well-established think tank (domestic or international) catches up with Brookings.  [Chatham House is the #2 think tank in the world and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) is #3].
  • A new think tank, such as a crowd-sourcing think tank, makes Brookings largely obsolete.
  • A huge "scandal" rocks Brookings.  [Think tank scandals are rare, although they not unheard of.  Center for American Progress (CAP) was attacked last year for its "anti-Israel agenda.")]
  • Poor leadership leads to a brain-drain in scholars.