Chapter

Ideas, Expertise, and Think Tanks

Andrew Rich

in Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736430
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866106 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736430.003.0010
Ideas, Expertise, and Think Tanks

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This chapter examines the production and dissemination of policy expertise and ideas within the American knowledge regime—and, in particular, what accounts for the success of conservative ideas relative to those of political liberals during the past four decades. It begins by assessing work about how ideas are influential in politics and policy making and then considers the ways ideas might influence the organization of politics and policy making as well. The empirical focus of the chapter is on the diversity among think tanks, those operating at both state and national levels in American policy making. It reviews findings from a national survey of state think-tank leaders and from in-depth interviews with the leaders and staff of nationally focused think tanks. It identifies patterns salient to understanding think tanks, both state and national, and organizations of many types that promote ideas in American politics.

Keywords: American politics; policy expertise; ideas; knowledge regime; policy making

Chapter.  8185 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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