Tevi Troy, who has worked for American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Humane Studies, and the American Action Forum, offers some intriguing thoughts for National Affairs on the evolution of think tanks over the years and where things seem to be headed today, and he questions whether that is a good thing:
One of the most peculiar, and least understood, features of the Washington policy process is the extraordinary dependence of policymakers on the work of think tanks. Most Americans — even most of those who follow politics closely — would probably struggle to name a think tank or to explain precisely what a think tank does. Yet over the past half-century, think tanks have come to play a central role in policy development — and even in the surrounding political combat.
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