The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program: The Global “Go-To Think Tanks”

James G. McGann, Ph.D.
JEL codes: 

This project grew out of the never ending requests I receive from journalists, scholars and
government officials to provide a list of the leading think tanks in a particular country or
region of the world. Last year I launched a pilot project that was designed to identify
some of the leading think tanks in the world in an attempt to answer these inquiries in a
more systematic fashion. The report that follows summarizes the findings of this pilot
project and provides lists of what might be called the “go to think tanks” in every region
of the world. 228 institutions were nominated by their peers and are public policy
research, analysis and engagement organizations that have become recognized nationally,
regionally and globally for producing rigorous and relevant research, publications and
programs. While I have done my best to be balanced and systematic in my approach to
identifying the leading think tanks in the world much more work needs to be done to
improve the selection process. I, therefore, view this report as a starting point and
encourage your comments and suggestions for how I might improve the selection
process. Additionally, it is also worth noting that the inclusion of an institution in the
universe of leading think tanks does not indicate a seal of approval or endorsement for
the institution, its publications or programs. Likewise a failure to be nominated does not
necessarily indicate a lack of a quality and effectiveness or poor performance. There are
5080 think tanks around the world that are doing exceptional work to help bridge the gap
between knowledge and policy. This report is simply an effort to highlight some of the
leading think tanks around the world.