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Posts tagged ‘Politics’

What is the upshot from our meditation on context as it relates to think tanks?

This last post on the effect of context on think tanks presents a way forward from the research. Elizabeth Brown offers a framework and a series of questions that think tanks can use to manage key decisions strategically.

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Context matters: so what?

This fourth post in the series she tries to narrow down the by now universal truism that "context matters". Courtney Tolmie challenges the statement that context matters by asking: so what? What about it is it that matters?

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What is a think tank’s endogenous capacity and why does it matter?

In this third post in the series of think tanks and their context, April Knox asks how think tanks can leverage their won endogenous capacities for impact. She outlines a number of strategies that think tanks can follow, including: collaboration, building their credibility, ensuring research quality, communicating strategically, and others.

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What is the state of research on think tanks and context?

This is the second post in a series looking at think tanks and their contexts. Elizabeth Brown outlines the methodological details of a study undertaken by Results for Development and the University of Washington addressing a crucial question: how to study think tanks and their context?

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Introduction to the series on think tanks and context

Context matters when it comes to think tanks. That much we know. But how does it affect think tanks exactly and what can they do about it? This new series of think tanks and their context edited by by Elizabeth Brown, Aprille Knox, and Courtney Tommie.

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Want to be relevant? Learn how politics work -and have fun in the process

Comedy about politics serves other purposes beside entertainment. They can foster a richer political environment in which think tanks may be able to make greater contributions.

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Think tanks and electoral processes: an opportunity that should not be missed

About 4 years ago, Fernando Straface from CIPPEC called for Latin American think tanks to share what he called a new technology of influence in electoral years. After close to a decade of projects in more than 5 countries in the region, it is now possible to share this innovation with others. This series has presented some of the lessons learned by think tanks in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay. In this post, Enrique Mendizabal argues for its replicability in other regions and provides some advice on how to go about it.

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Supporting think tanks series: synthesis of the think pieces -(possible) recommendations

This second post based on a series of think pieces written on supporting think tanks focuses on practical advice for the Knowledge Sector Initiative and similar efforts. It suggests that greater attention must be place on the environment of think tanks and other policy research actors. Of particular importance is to understand the real relationship between donors, grantees, and any contractors charged with delivering the initiatives' missions.

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What do partisan think tanks seek?

Non-partisan think tanks are praised by their neutrality. But, as Claudio Jones argues, partisan think tanks play an important and necessary function in any democracy -certainly in emerging ones. In this post he outlines some characteristics of partisan think tanks, the challenges they face, and the functions they can fulfil.

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‘Think tanks in America’ by Thomas Medvetz

Thomas Medvetz 2013 book, Think Tanks in America, describes think tanks as political operators and provides a great account of how they go about claiming and gaining political power for themselves and their sector. The book provides a critical history of think tanks in the US that shines a new light on them; from technocratic and neutral knights to ideological and partisan knaves (not all of course). Read the book.

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