Think Tanks and Emerging Power Networks

  • James G. McGann
  • Aaron Shull


Think tanks are research, analysis, and engagement institutions that generate policy advice on domestic and international issues, enabling policymakers to make informed decisions and bridging the gap between the government and the public at large. In simpler terms, think tanks serve as “go-to” institutions when experts on particular topics are needed to provide analysis or commentary on the breaking news of the day. These organizations are classified in one of the following categories: for profit, autonomous and independent, quasi-independent, university affiliated, political party affiliated, quasi-governmental, or governmental. These categories helpfully expand the definition of think tanks to overcome the presuppositions of a Western, Anglophone perspective—as think tanks become increasingly prominent around the world, so too does their definition necessarily expand beyond its original boundaries.


Think tanks Public policy research organizations Policy advice Global research Foreign policy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. McGann
    • 1
  • Aaron Shull
    • 2
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.The Centre for International Governance (CIGI)WaterlooCanada

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