From Think Tank to Do Tank
THE SOURCE: "Devaluing the Think Tank” by Tevi Troy, in National Affairs, Winter 2012.
Think tanks once had such studious, genteel atmospheres that they were known as “universities without students.” That era is long over, writes Tevi Troy, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, itself one of the older think tanks around. Many of these institutions now serve an array of functions, and an ability to wage partisan warfare is chief among them.
The nation’s oldest and most august think tanks, such as the Brookings Institution, established in 1916 in Washington, D.C., were founded out of a Progressive-era faith in the ability of experts to formulate superior public policies. As the federal government grew in the aftermath of the New Deal, think tanks proliferated, becoming critical sources of guidance for officials contending with an increasingly complex policymaking process.
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