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Think tanks and research organizations set out to influence policy ideas and decisions—a goal that is key to the very fabric of these organizations. And yet, the ways that they actually achieve impact or measure progress along these lines remains fuzzy and underexplored. What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide for Policy Impact is the first practical guide that is specifically tailored to think tanks, policy research, and advocacy organizations. Author Andrew Selee draws on extensive interviews with members of leading think tanks, as well as cutting-edge thinking in business and non-profit management, to provide concrete strategies for setting policy-oriented goals and shaping public opinion. Concise and practically-minded, What Should Think Tanks Do? helps those with an interest in think tanks to envision a well-oiled machine, while giving leaders in these organizations tools and tangible metrics to drive and evaluate success.
How can we re-envision the university? Too many examples of what passes for educational innovation today—MOOCs especially—focus on transactions, on questions of delivery. In Alternative Universities, David J. Staley argues that modern universities suffer from a poverty of imagination about how to reinvent themselves. Anyone seeking innovation in higher education today should concentrate instead, he says, on the kind of transformational experience universities enact. In this exercise in speculative design, Staley proposes ten models of innovation in higher education that expand our ideas of the structure and scope of the university, suggesting possibilities for what its future might look like. What if the university were designed around a curriculum of seven broad cognitive skills or as a series of global gap year experiences? What if, as a condition of matriculation, students had to major in three disparate subjects? What if the university placed the pursuit of play well above the acquisition and production of knowledge? By asking bold "What if?" questions, Staley assumes that the university is always in a state of becoming and that there is not one "idea of the university" to which all institutions must aspire. This book specifically addresses those engaged in university strategy—university presidents, faculty, policy experts, legislators, foundations, and entrepreneurs—those involved in what Simon Marginson calls "university making." Pairing a critique tempered to our current moment with an explanation of how change and disruption might contribute to a new "golden age" for higher education, Alternative Universities is an audacious and essential read.
Think tanks are often thought of as a uniquely US phenomenon. Although the largest concentration of think tanks is in the United States, they can be found in virtually every country. Often overlooked, Canada’s think tanks represent a highly diverse and eclectic group of public policy organizations such as the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Mowat Centre among others. In Northern Lights, Donald Abelson explores the rise of think tanks in Canada and addresses many of the most commonly asked questions about how, and under what circumstances, they are able to affect public opinion and public policy. He identifies the ways in which Canadian think tanks often prioritize political advocacy over policy research, and seeks to explain why these organizations are well-suited and equipped to shape the discourse around key policy issues. The first comprehensive examination of think tanks in Canada, Northern Lights is both a primer for those looking to understand the role and function of think tanks in the policy-making process and a guide to the leading policy institutes in the country.
This book explores the transforming political climate of several emerging powers—Turkey, China, and India—and the key role think tanks play in that transformation. With case studies from three think tanks, the authors uncover the unique challenges that emerging power think tanks face in gaining recognition as global tanks and how networks will influence this process. To do so, they first establish what it means to be a global think tank in the context of emerging powers. Next, they provide the three case studies beginning with an examination of the Observer Research Foundation, a prominent Indian think tank, followed by a study of China’s Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, and concluding with a discussion on the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey. Following these case studies, the authors further explore the dynamic of a think tank network with remarks from presidents of think tanks in the T20 think tank network.
"In cooperation with the Center for Security Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University" -- Title page.
Government and individual policymakers throughout the developed and developing world face the common problem of bringing expert knowledge to bear in government decision making. Policymakers need understandable, reliable, accessible, and useful information about the societies they govern. They also need to know how current policies are working, as well as possible alternatives and their likely costs and consequences. This expanding need has fostered the growth of independent public policy research organizations, commonly known as think tanks. Think Tanks and Civil Societies analyzes their growth, scope, and constraints, while providing institutional profiles of such organizations in every region of the world. Beginning with North America, contributors analyze think tank development past and future, consider their relationship to the general political culture, and provide detailed looks at such examples as the Heritage Foundation and the Institute for Research on Public Policy. A historical and subregional overview of think tanks throughout Europe notes the emphasis on European Union issues and points to a dramatic rise in the number and influence of free market institutes across the continent. Think tanks in Germany, Spain, and France are profiled with respect to national politics and cultures. Advanced industrial nations of northern Asia are compared and contrasted, revealing a greater need for independent policy voices. Moving to countries undergoing economic transition, contributors deal with challenges posed in Russia and the former Soviet bloc and their think tanks' search for influence, independence, and sustainability. Other chapters deal with the developing countries of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, finding that the number, quality, and independence of think tanks is largely determined by the degree of democracy in individual nations.
Struyk, an analyst of housing policy and finance and community development with the Urban Institute was inspired for this account by Russian and Hungarian think tanks he worked with in 1990 and 1991, as well as efforts to create or restructure such bodies in the west. He draws on interviews with people from think tanks and policy makers in Armenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Russian Federation, and with representatives of the donor community both in those countries and elsewhere. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

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