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Think Tanks: Foundations and Research Institutes : Introduction

Often referred to as public policy or research institutes, think tanks can be a good source for research on various topics, addressing real-world problems or concrete public policy issues.

What is a Think Tank?

Think tank, as defined by Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints and Voices, is a "nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that devotes a significant portion of its activities to public policy analysis. Think tanks identify policy issues, evaluate ideas, and design public policies."

Think tanks can be a great resource for research on a variety of topics, but you need to be mindful that they can be, and often are, advocacy-oriented.

The fact that a think tank may refer to itself as non-partisan means simply that it has no formal connection to a political party; however, it might have an ideological orientation more consistent with a given political party. The pages that follow list numerous think tanks, foundations and institutes and identify each with a political ideology (categorized here as liberal, moderate/centrist, or conservative), based on its research foci and reporting.




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Analysis of Think Tanks

Created / Revised By

This guide was adapted with permisson from Roger Kosson, Social Sciences Librarian at Denison University's Doane Library.

Revised by L. Richter, 7/14.