mardi 19 janvier 2010

Think tank - what it is?

A think tank (also called a policy institute) is an organization, institute, corporation, group, or individual that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economy, science or technology issues, industrial or business policies, or military advice.[1] Many think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax exempt status. While many think tanks are funded by governments, interest groups, or businesses, some think tanks also derive income from consulting or research work related to their mandate.[2]

There are different opinions about think tanks; supporters like the National Institute for Research Advancement, itself a think tank, hail them as "one of the main policy actors in democratic societies ..., assuring a pluralistic, open and accountable process of policy analysis, research, decision-making and evaluation".[3] Others[citation needed] consider the term to be a euphemism for lobbying groups.

A study in early 2009 found a total of 5,465 think tanks worldwide. Of that number, 1,777 were based in the United States and approximately 350 in Washington, DC alone.

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