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Revista Foreign Policy, enero/febrero 2009

The Think Tank Index

El CARI fue elegido el mejor think tank de América Latina y el Caribe

La revista Foreign Policy publicó el Think Tank Index confeccionado por la University of Pennsylvania. El Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales fue elegido como el think tank número uno de América Latina y el Caribe en 2008, de acuerdo con un informe de la University of Pennsylvania y publicado por la revista Foreign Policy en su primera edición del año.

Para confeccionar el estudio fueron consultados expertos de relaciones exteriores, autoridades de instituciones y ONG internacionales, diplomáticos y responsables de políticas públicas, al igual que académicos de prestigio, quienes analizaron 5.465 think tanks de todo el mundo. El criterio de selección se basó en "la habilidad de la institución para retener académicos y analistas de prestigio", "acceso a los grupos formadores de políticas y a los estratos académicos y creadores de opinión pública", "la reputación entre los responsables de las decisiones políticas" y "la utilidad de la información desarrollada por la organización", entre otros puntos.

El artículo fue suscrito por el responsable de la investigación James McGann, director asistente del Programa de Relaciones Internacionales de la University of Pennsylvania y director de Programa de Think Tanks y Sociedades Civiles.

It's no accident that Barack Obama plucked his transition chief from a think tank. The world's idea factories are charged with brainstorming solutions to everything from global warming to Wall Street's implosion to the war on terror. In the first index of its kind, FP ranks the world's best think tanks.

In Washington, it's not for nothing that think tanks are called "governments in waiting." Presidents seek them out because they are critical to the global ideas industry. Far more than simply churning out endless papers, think tank wonks generate and fine-tune solutions to some of the most complex and vexing issues of the day. Leaders around the world need them to provide independent analysis, help set policy agendas, and bridge the gap between knowledge and action.

But not all think tanks are created equal. There are some 5,500 think tanks worldwide, in nearly 170 countries. Some organizations specialize in security; others in the environment. Some are intensely partisan; others fiercely independent. Some have budgets in the tens of millions of dollars; others are one-person operations. Some are already changing the world with their big ideas; others merely aspire to.

Until now, there has been no guide to this rapidly growing global industry. The Think Tank Index is the first comprehensive ranking of the world's top think tanks, based on a worldwide survey of hundreds of scholars and experts. Think of it as an insider's guide to the competitive marketplace for ideas that matter.

 

The Think Tank Field Guide

As think tanks have grown in number and influence, a handful of distinct breeds have emerged. Here's a guide to telling the wonks from the water carriers.

 

Top 30 U.S. Think Tanks

 

1. Brookings Institution

Location: Washington

Annual budget: $60.7 million

Specialties: U.S. foreign policy, Middle East

Boldface names: Strobe Talbott, Kenneth Pollack, Alice Rivlin

 

2. Council on Foreign Relations

Location: New York

Budget: $38.3 million

Specialties: U.S. foreign policy, national security

Boldface names: Richard Haass, Michael Gerson, Walter Russell Mead, Angelina Jolie

 

3. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Location: Washington

Budget: $22 million

Specialties: Nuclear nonproliferation, China

Boldface names: Jessica T. Mathews, Robert Kagan, Minxin Pei

 

4. Rand Corporation

Location: Santa Monica, Calif.

Budget: $251 million

Specialties: Military strategy, political economy

Boldface names: James Dobbins, Gregory Treverton, William Overholt

 

5. Heritage Foundation

Location: Washington

Budget: $48.4 million

Specialties: Tax policy, missile defense

Boldface names: Edwin Meese, Peter Brookes, James Jay Carafano

 

6. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Location: Washington

Budget: $34.5 million

Specialties: Regional studies, democracy promotion

Boldface names: Lee Hamilton, Haleh Esfandiari

 

7. Center for Strategic & International Studies

Location: Washington

Budget: $29 million

Specialties: Defense policy, diplomacy

Boldface names: John Hamre, Richard Armitage, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Anthony Cordesman

 

8. American Enterprise Institute

Location: Washington

Budget: $23.6 million (2006)

Specialties: Trade, defense

Boldface names: Newt Gingrich, David Frum, Richard Perle

 

9. Cato Institute

Location: Washington

Budget: $19 million

Specialties: Libertarianism, deregulation

Boldface names: David Boaz, Edward Crane, Christopher Preble

 

10. Hoover Institution

Location: Stanford, Calif.

Budget: $34.1 million

Specialties: Defense policy, conservatism

Boldface names: Larry Diamond, Michael McFaul, Victor Davis Hanson

 

11. Human Rights Watch

Location: New York

Budget: $35.5 million

Specialties: Human rights, international justice

Boldface names: Kenneth Roth

 

12. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Location: Washington

Budget: $9.5 million

Specialties: Trade, globalization

Boldface names: C. Fred Bergsten, Anders Åslund, William Cline

 

13. United States Institute of Peace

Location: Washington

Budget: $24.7 million

Specialties: Conflict resolution, postconflict stability

Boldface names: Richard Solomon, Scott Lasensky, J. Alexander Thier

 

14. National Bureau of Economic Research

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

Budget: $29.8 million

Specialties: Economic growth, empirical research

Boldface names: James Poterba, Robert Lipsey, Martin Feldstein

 

15. Center for Global Development

Location: Washington

Budget: $9.8 million

Specialties: Globalization, inequality

Boldface names: Nancy Birdsall

 

16. World Policy Institute

17. Center for American Progress

18. Carter Center

19. Hudson Institute

20. Urban Institute

21. EastWest Institute

22. New America Foundation

23. Manhattan Institute

24. Resources for the Future

25. Baker Institute for Public Policy

26. Henry L. Stimson Center

27. Center for Transatlantic Relations

28. Independent Institute

29. International Peace Institute

30. National Center for Policy Analysis (tied)

31. Mercatus Center (tied)

 

Top 20 Non-U.S. Think Tanks

 

1. Chatham House

Location: London

Budget: $12.4 million

Specialties: International economics, regional studies

 

2. International Institute for Strategic Studies

Location: London

Budget: $15.3 million

Specialties: Nonproliferation, counterterrorism

 

3. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Location: Solna, Sweden

Budget: $5.3 million

Specialties: Arms control, conflict management

 

4. Overseas Development Institute

Location: London

Budget: $25.9 million

Specialties: International development, humanitarian issues

 

5. Centre for European Policy Studies

Location: Brussels

Budget: $8.6 million

Specialty: EU affairs

 

6. Transparency International

Location: Berlin

Budget: $13.3 million

Specialty: Anticorruption

 

7. German Council on Foreign Relations

Location: Berlin

Budget: $6.4 million

Specialties: German foreign policy, international relations

 

8. German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Location: Berlin

Budget: $16.4 million

Specialties: German foreign policy and security

 

9. French Institute of International Relations

Location: Paris

Budget: $8.1 million

Specialties: Trans-Atlantic relations, European affairs

 

10. Adam Smith Institute

Location: London

Budget: $500,000

Specialties: Free-market and social policies

 

11. Fraser Institute (Canada)

12. European Council on Foreign Relations (multiple)

13. Centre for Policy Studies (Britain)

14. Institute of Development Studies (Britain)

15. Centre for Economic Policy Research (Britain)

16. Centre for European Reform (Britain)

17. International Crisis Group (Belgium)

18. International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Sweden)

19. Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Germany)

20. Canadian International Council (Canada)

 

Top Think Tanks for Innovative Ideas

 

1. Cato Institute

Cato's libertarian stance, once viewed as fringe, is now considered respectable. With its anti-incumbent, anti-Washington attitude, Cato has antagonized liberals with its push to privatize Social Security, as well as conservatives with its vigorous opposition to the Iraq war.

 

2. Brookings Institution

From heathcare reform to recommendations on closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Brookings has a breadth of expertise that allows it to offer innovative fixes for nearly every critical issue facing the United States today.

 

3. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Carnegie's role in opposing the invasion of Iraq and providing critical research on issues such as Iran's and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs places it at the heart of some of Washington's defining policy debates.

 

Best New Think Tanks (of the last 5 years)

 

1. European Council on Foreign Relations

Populated by European heavyweights like Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari and former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, the ECFR aims to craft a common foreign policy for an increasingly integrated Europe.

 

2. Bruegel

Funded by EU member states and located in Brussels, Bruegel specializes in driving European economic growth and making the continent more competitive in the global economy.

 

3. Center for American Progress

Thanks to its all-star roster of experts and savvy use of new media, CAP has emerged as the intellectual center of Democratic D.C.

 

Most Impact on Public Policy Debates

 

1. Brookings Institution

When important debates occur in Washington—whether over Middle East peace, global finance, or urban strategy—it's a fair bet that Brookings is driving the conversation.

 

2. Heritage Foundation

A partisan approach, obsession with the latest policy issues, an effective marketing strategy, and proximity to the seat of power (it is steps away from the U.S. Congress) give Heritage an influential edge.

 

Top 5 Think Tanks in Latin America and the Caribbean

1. Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales (Argentina)

2. Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (Costa Rica)

3. Libertad y Desarrollo (Chile)

4. Centro de Estudios Públicos (Chile)

5. Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (Argentina)

 

Top 5 Think Tanks in Asia

1. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (China)

2. Japan Institute of International Affairs (Japan)

3. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (India)

4. Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Indonesia)

5. Institute for International Policy Studies (Japan)

 

Top 5 Think Tanks in the Middle East and North Africa

1. Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (Egypt)

2. Center for Strategic Studies (Jordan)

3. Institute for National Security Studies (Israel)

4. Gulf Research Center (United Arab Emirates)

5. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (United Arab Emirates)

 

Top 5 Think Tanks in Sub-Saharan Africa

1. Centre for Conflict Resolution (South Africa)

2. South African Institute of International Affairs (South Africa)

3. Institute for Security Studies (South Africa)

4. Free Market Foundation (South Africa)

5. Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Senegal)

 

Top 5 Security and International Affairs Think Tanks

1. Brookings Institution

2. Chatham House

3. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

4. Council on Foreign Relations

5. International Institute for Strategic Studies

 

Top 5 International Development Think Tanks

1. Brookings Institution

2. Overseas Development Institute

3. Council on Foreign Relations

4. Rand Corporation

5. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

 

Top 5 International Economic Policy Think Tanks

1. Brookings Institution

2. Peterson Institute for International Economics

3. Fraser Institute

4. National Bureau of Economic Research

5. Adam Smith Institute

 

There are 5,465 think tanks worldwide.

 

Breakdown:

 

Methodology

Prior to launching the Think Tank Index, extensive research was conducted to develop a comprehensive list of all think tanks in the world. Relying on previous studies, think tank directories and databases, and experts in the field, 5,465 institutions worldwide were identified for inclusion in the study.

To create a more manageable list from which to identify leading think tanks, an international group of scholars, think tank executives, public and private donors, and policymakers were then asked to nominate think tanks they consider to be the best in the world. These experts used selection criteria such as a think tank's ability to retain elite scholars and analysts; access to elites in policymaking, media, and academia; media reputation; reputation with policymakers; scholarly output; and usefulness of the organization's information, among others. This effort resulted in a list of approximately 400 think tanks worldwide that were then included in the Think Tank Impact Survey.

The Think Tank Impact Survey was then sent to hundreds of think tank scholars, think tank executives, and government and NGO personnel who fund think tanks. More than 150 responses from this panel of experts were received. These respondents ranked the list of think tanks by region and research area, the results of which are seen here.

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