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On Think Tanks was founded in mid 2010. It has evolved from a blog into a global platform dedicated to study and support policy research and policy research centres, or think tanks. The members of the On Think Tanks Team and its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents!

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Think tanks in China

Over the past decade, there has been a growth of think tanks in China. At On Think Tanks, we have been observing and analysing this growth, looking closely at the characteristics of the context contributing to this thrive. There is a bigger demand from the government for research and this receptive environment has led to the establishment of more than 200 new think tanks in the country. In this series, we explore the Chinese think tank environment, the challenges these organisations face, their intellectual independence, policy actors and more.

  1. 1

    How does a think tank policy come about? Lessons from China

    In China think tanks are experiencing something of a Golden Age (at least if we consider the number of think tanks founded in the last few years and the support from the Party and the Government for their development). Unlike most other parts of the world, China has a think tank... Read full article
  2. 2

    What are the challenges that Chinese think tanks face?

    For all the talk of a Golden Age of think tanks in China (and for all the support they receive) think tanks (old and new) face a number of challenges. These are similar to those faced by think tanks elsewhere yet with a 'Chinese' flavour. At a recent academic conference on think tanks in Asia... Read full article
  3. 3

    Are think tanks in Asia unique?

    Two weeks ago, the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies and Tsinghua University convened a workshop in Beijing that was designed to gather contemporary research on the development of think tanks across Asia. Asia is home to many vibrant and expanding think tank communities, a fact... Read full article
  4. 4

    Think Tanks in China: A Golden Age?

    According to many Chinese scholars at an event co-orgnised by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, think tanks in China are enjoying of a Golden Age. Since President Xi Jinxing called, in... Read full article
  5. 5

    The China-Africa Think Tank Forum and the negotiation of soft power

    International think tank summits offer a window to explore the development of international relationships between countries and regions. In that sense, the 4th China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF IV), that took place the 9th and 10th of September in Pretoria, South Africa, gives us a good... Read full article
  6. 6

    Chinese think tanks: from windows to super highways

    Chinese think tanks are often described in the literature as 'windows' into other political communities. Any government would find it quite had to openly inquire about other countries' political systems. But for the Chinese government this is probably even harder. It makes sense: the closer we... Read full article
  7. 7

    Bigger roles for Chinese think tanks

    Hu Yongii of China Daily has written an article on how the period of transition that the Chinese government is currently undergoing has expanded Chinese think tanks' role, by being more frequently consulted by government officials and agencies. Think tanks offer advice on their specialty... Read full article
  8. 8

    Chinese think tanks are more intellectually independent than you think

    Most people I talk to about think tanks in China seem rather doubtful of the possibly of there being any 'real' think tanks there. How could they if they are all controlled by the Party, they say. My usual answer to that type of accusation is that all think tanks are controlled by someone. The... Read full article
  9. 9

    New trends for Chinese Think Tanks

    China has had a long tradition of think tanks serving as policy researchers and governmental advisors. Currently, according to Xufeng Zhu, Director of the Centre of Chinese Policy Science, and Associate Director of the Centre for MPA Education, Nankai University, there seems to be a new trend... Read full article
  10. 10

    China’s Think Tanks – Multifaceted and Multi-Dimensional Policy Actors

    Seldom do we pass a day without a major cover story on China’s rise and its growing global influence. Almost every aspect of its ascent is dissected and deciphered to no end. One of the key domestic forces within China engaged in this effort are think tanks. Since opening up in... Read full article
  11. 11

    “Sea Turtles” or “returnees” behind China’s think tank growth

    This is a very interesting paper by Cheng Li on the trends of think tanks in China -with particular emphasis on the roles being played by influential returnees such as Justin Lin. The paper also highlight the new roles played by policymakers, entrepreneurs and intellectuals in these new... Read full article