Mastering Think-Tanks

photo 12Think-tanks play an important role in policy and political discussion but understanding what they actually do, and who works for them, can be a tricky business. Fortunately for our apprentices, masterclass partner Demos were on hand to demystify their inner workings – after all, who better to spill the beans than the think-tankers themselves…

Last Thursday, our apprentices, and some recent Parliamentary Academy graduates, gathered to get the inside scoop on think-tanks. When asked the what it is think-tanks actually do, Demos Research Director, Duncan O’Leary, gave an enticing answer; placing it somewhere between journalism and academia. Working on projects for months, it’s more in-depth than a journalist generally has time to go but far less caught up in the minutiae that an academic would be. And, as Duncan pointed out, there’s also the question of relevancy – the work of a think-tank must have value. It should speak to the challenges we are facing now, suggesting ways forward and practical policy suggestions.

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