Think Tanks and Policy
This chapter looks at the think tanks of policymaking. In the early wartime period, official long-range planning was stunted by a lack of government resources and interest in the subject. The bureaucrats in charge of American foreign policy came to rely on information and expertise from outside the government as they formed their views. Specialist research organizations, later known as “think tanks,” leaped to fill gaps in official expertise. Eventually, think tank staffs became unofficial officials, taking full part in the development of policy. They provided reports, recommendations, and accessible information, informed by their specific institutional viewpoints. They also maintained personal networks between members and policymakers and created space for officials and private experts from the business and scholarly communities to discuss ideas.
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