UK think tanks and policy landscape

6 February 2011

Last weekend, the Independent published a review of the most influential think tanks in the UK policy scene. Politics? Nothing that a bit of thinking can’t cure provides some interesting detail and insights into the British think tank community.

First, the attention on think tanks emerges in part from the roles they will play in developing the three main party’s manifestos for the 2015 elections. It is also announcing a rather interesting initiative in which think tanks from the capital get together to attempt to convince an audience of peers and the general public to support their ideas.

Second, I was interested to confirm that many of these think tanks are in fact quite small. Annual budgets under a million pounds are nor uncommon.

Third, they are fairly new organisations and their political or ideological positions are somewhat identifiable.

Fourth, the revolving door that exists between think tanks and the government is wide open and working at different levels.