Public policy analysis and think tanks

Diane Stone

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The term think tank is used here to mean policy research institutes involved in the research and analysis of a particular policy area or a broad range of policy issues, seeking to advise policy makers or inform public debate on policy issues. Generally, these organizations are constituted as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) but some are either semi-governmental agencies or quasiautonomous units within government. Additionally, some European political parties have created in-house think tanks in the form of party institutes or foundations such as the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung associated with the Christian Democratic Party in Germany. In parts of North Asia, think tanks are often affi liated with business corporations such as the Mitsubishi Research Institute a profi t-making institute founded in 1970. Despite this increasing divergence in legal constitution, the roles and functions of think tanks put them at the intersection of academia and politics where they aim to make connection between policy analysis and policy making. However, there is considerable diversity among think tanks in terms of size, ideology, resources, and the quality or quantity of analytic output. Notwithstanding the prosperous, well-known think tanks like RAND, the Brookings Institution, or the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States, the majority of think tanks around the world are relatively small organizations. Most operate with a dozen or so research staff and annual budgets of approximately US$2-$3.5 million (Boucher et al. 2004).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Public Policy Analysis
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Politics, and Methods
EditorsFrank Fischer, Gerald J. Miller, Mara S. Sidney
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781351564373, 9781315093192
ISBN (Print)9781574445619
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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