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Are Think Tanks Becoming Too Political?

“Over the past half-century, think tanks have come to play a central role in policy development — and even in the surrounding political combat. Over that period, however, the balance between these two functions —policy development and political combat — has been steadily shifting. Today, while most think tanks continue to serve as homes for some academic-style scholarship regarding public policy, many have also come to play more active (if informal) roles in politics. . . . Every incentive — political, financial, and professional — points toward the further politicization of think tanks.”

So wrote Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Tevi Troy in a recent article in the Winter 2012 issue of National Affairs, arguing that American think tanks are becoming less incubators of thoughtful policy ideas than political combat vehicles.

Required Reading

Tevi Troy, Devaluing the Think Tank, National Affairs, Winter 2012.

Christopher DeMuth, Moderator

Hudson Distinguished Fellow and former President of the American Enterprise Institute

Michael Franc, Panelist

Heritage Foundation Vice President for Government Studies

Will Marshall, Panelist

President and Founder of the Progressive Policy Institute

Neera Tanden, Panelist

President of the Center for American Progress

Tevi Troy, Panelist

Hudson Senior Fellow

Hudson Experts

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