Think tanks and policy makers in Argentina

4 March 2011

This recent publication from Fundación Siena and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on Think Tanks, Decision Makers and Political Actors by Gerardo Uña, Carina Lupica Luciano Strazza offers new insights in the complex relationships that exist between research and policy in Argentina. The authors consider think tanks are bridges or nexus between the worlds of research and politics.

Among their main conclusions they highlight the focus on agenda setting and the increasing involvement of think tanks on the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of policies.

They also find that few have communication strategies to disseminate their research; and even fewer monitor and evaluate their influence.

The authors use 4 categories of think tanks:

  • Private research centres –private, independent, think tanks that focus their attention on research projects but are organised in ways similar to consultancy firms.
  • Academic centres –based within universities and promote the debate of ideas and the formation of future economic and political leaders.
  • Advocacy groups –they focus their activities on the promotion os specific rights, monitoring government policies and channeling civil society demands.
  • Political foundations –organisations that actively in the political process and are linked to a leader, interest group or political party.

And Identify 4 roles or functions:

  • Spaces for the dissemination of ideas
  • Policy legitimators
  • Knowledge networks
  • Support for political action

For anyone interested in Argentinean think tanks, this study provides a thorough assessment of quite a few of them. I am not an expert in Argentinean politics so I’ll let those who are comment on the accuracy of their analysis.