Friday, August 6, 2021

Think Tanks' Impact on Policy in Turbulent Times

FP Analytics (FPA), the independent research division of Foreign Policy magazine, has published a new report entitled "Navigating Through Turbulence," which explores think tanks' impact on policy in a rapidly changing world.

Here is more on the report from FPA:

The last few years have seen rises in authoritarianism, economic protectionism, poverty, and threats to human rights and civil liberties, trends that were all further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to combat such trends take many forms, but this report is particularly concerned with the role and impact of think tanks given their capacity to understand, explain, and shape these trends. Such organizations have proliferated globally since the 1990s, but there has been limited research and a lack of consensus regarding how successful they are in counteracting these negative trends. To explore this topic, FP Analytics conducted an in-depth survey and semi-structured interviews with think tank personnel to highlight the experiences and viewpoints of the think tank staff working on the ground to advance democracy, economic openness, human rights, and poverty reduction in their home countries.


For the research, FPA interviewed 51 senior think tank leaders from around the world and surveyed another 322 from 80 different countries.

Think Tank Watch should note that the study appears somewhat biased because it relied heavily on the Atlas Network, an umbrella for libertarian and free-market groups, for its think tank outreach.  FPA notes that around 12% of of final sample of 322 respondents consists of responses from staff at think tanks outside of those from the Atlas Network.  In other words, people from the Atlas Network make up 88% of responses.