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Posts from the ‘Research’ Category

A national ranking of influence: Chinese and American models

Two think tank rankings have been published recently: one for Chinese think tanks and one for US think tanks. Both have been developed by think tanks themselves and both have attempted to be as context specific and objective as possible. While they use different methods they offer an excellent opportunity for comparative research on think tanks.

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Gramsci and the literature on think tanks

In this post, Marcos Gonzalez explores how Gramsci's ideas have influenced the literature on think tanks and how we understand and work with them. He offers an explanation to why we tend to focus on the confrontational aspects of think tanks' roles.

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Book Review: How Think Tanks Shape Social Development Policies, edited by James McGann, Jillian Rafferty, and Anna Viden

In this post, Marcos Gonzales Hernando provides a critical review of "How Think Tanks Shape Social Development Policies", edited by James McGann, Jillian Rafferty, and Anna Viden. He challenges the notion put forward by the editors, that think tanks can, in its own right, become a powerful force for social development and the strengthening of civil society; but welcomes the comparative literature and cases offered by the volume.

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Stocktaking on Research Quality at the Think Tank Initiative Exchange

In this post Andrea Ordoñez writes about research quality. She identified three levels of responsibility: the individual, the organisation, and society. She argues that to deliver high quality research all three need to be addressed.

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PLAAS seeks to influence land reform policy through media debate

In this post Rebecca Pointer outlines the approach that the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of Cape Town uses to influence land reform policy in the 2014 South African elections. PLAAS' approach emphasises media engagement.

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CSDS: Five decades of Understanding Electoral Politics in India

In this post, Sanjay Kumar, Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), outlines the think tank's work on elections in India. CSDS has one of the largest body of information and knowledge on elections outside Europe and North America. A key lessons is that think tanks can influence elections by studying them.

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Think Tank Transparency: Transparify’s 2015 report is out

Transparify has launched its 2015 annual report on Transparency. Find out which are the most transparent think tanks and learn more about how to reach a 5 star rating.

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A quick and dirty “Transparify-like” assessment of US think tanks

Think tank transparency promises to be one of the most important issues of 2015. In this post we present a DIY rating of some of the most popular US think tanks to accompany Transparify's own rating and annual report.

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Managing budgets in a Think Tank

Eva Cardoso, an experienced think tank administrator writes about managing budgets for think tanks. She uses the project cycle to describe the various stages of budget design, monitoring and closure. She also outlines the different roles and skills that are necessary for an adequate budget management. Finally, she presents useful templates for think tanks to use.

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How transparent are Spanish Think Tanks? A DIY rating with Transparify’s framework

Think tank transparency is emerging as a key issue for 2015. Being influential and popular is no longer enough when it comes to assessing think tanks' value. In this post, 48 Spanish think tanks have been rated using Transparify's method. The authors also offer useful and practical advice to the think tanks.

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