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How Do Think Tanks Relate to Academic Knowledge?

Wednesday 6 March 2019
Diplomacy and Global Affairs Research Seminar Series 2019
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague


Would you like to join the lecture? Register now.

About the lecture

Think tanks often present themselves as contributors to a more reflective and informed
political debate and their policy advice as based on knowledge and research. Yet, they
also claim to be alternatives to university research and research institutes and often use
knowledge and expertise to pursue explicitly ideological agendas. How do think tanks
tackle this balancing act of knowledge provision and ideological commitment? How do
they relate to academia and what characterizes and determines their use of academic
knowledge? How can the role of think tanks be normatively evaluated? The paper
explores these questions through an analysis of the three main advocacy-oriented think
tanks in Norway. It examines think tanks’ relation to academic knowledge on three
empirical dimensions: organization and self-presentation, staff characteristics and the
use of knowledge in publications

A copy of the paper will be shared with registered participants.  

About the speaker

 Johan Christensen is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Public Administration. His research focuses on the role of experts and expertise in public policy-making, both at the national and European levels. His first book “The Power of Economists within the State” is published by Stanford University Press in 2017.
Christensen received his PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence in 2013. Before joining the Institute, he was a postdoctoral fellow in sociology and organizational studies at Stanford University.
Christensen is currently teaching courses on international public administration.
He is also a co-director of the project “EUREX: Expertization of public inquiry commissions in a Europeanized administrative order” based at the University of Oslo.

About the seminars

The Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.


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