“The political power of (neoliberal) Think Tanks”: a radio broadcast with Stephan Pühringer

Opinion-forming institutes or groups of experts, so-called “think tanks”, are of great importance for politics and business. There are currently about 7,800 such private or publicly financed “think tanks” listed worldwide. Even if their name suggests it, these institutions are not only concerned with producing knowledge, but above all with preparing it for the respective target groups.

Even though there is no generally accepted definition of think tank and the term covers very different institutions, each of them pursues a specific agenda and attempts to influence policy-making processes through research, studies and position papers. About three quarters of these institutions, were established after the 1970s/80s and are often associated with the so-called “neoliberal turn”. While in the past, policy-relevant research and analysis were the main field of activity of think tanks, the institutes that followed increasingly devoted themselves to interest- and value-based policy recommendations and their implementation and thus are labelled as advocacy think tanks. Pühringer will particularly talk about the genesis and political power of Austria neoliberal think tanks.

The radio report (in German language) will be broadcast on 20 February 2020 and can be downloaded at: https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20200220/589048/Wo-lassen-denken

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