Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Atlantic Council & Fletcher School at Tufts Join Forces

A major US think tank has just joined forces with a major US university, in what could be a a new phase in how think tanks collaborate and interact with academia.

It was recently announced that the Atlantic Council and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University would enter into an exclusive partnership that will deeply link the organizations together.  Here is more from Atlantic Council:
The Atlantic Council and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University announced a new partnership today that will link the organizations across a full range of substantive issue areas in a number of forms including faculty/scholar exchanges, joint programs between centers, cohosted conferences and workshops, and multi-media outreach. This will be the only partnership of its kind for both institutions.
The partnership will officially launch at a joint Atlantic Council-Fletcher School event on July 14 at 1:30 p.m.

The Atlantic Council was ranked as the 16th best think tank in the United States by the 2015 University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  Tufts, located in Medford, Massachusetts, was recently ranked as tied for the 27th best university in the US by US News & World Report.  In 2012, Foreign Policy ranked Tufts' Fletcher School as having the fifth best international relations master's program in the country.

Think Tank Watch has documented various think tank partnerships over the years, and they are not just with universities.  They can be with other think tanks, corporations, foreign governments, non-profits, news outlets/publications, and others.

Here is more on think tank collaboration with colleges/universities from On Think Tanks.

According to the 2015 University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings, more than half of the think tanks in North America and Europe are university affiliated.

According to those rankings, the best university-affiliated think tanks are:
  1. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  2. IDEAS/Public Policy Group, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  3. Center for International Development (CID), Harvard University
  4. Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  5. Earth Institute, Columbia University

Of course, there is the ongoing debate on whether think tanks or universities are more relevant.