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Political Science

This guide was developed for students and faculty engaged in political science and international relations research.

What is a Think Tank?

A think tank is a research organization devoted to conducting and publishing research and policy analysis in the social sciences.  Think tanks publish their information in books, policy briefs, reports, conferences, blogs, and in other formal and informal mediums.  This information is used by governments, businesses, media organizations, and other non-governmental organizations and non-profits. 

Thinks tanks are often ideological, although some strive to be non-partisan. See the last section on this page for more information on evaluating think tanks. 

Searching for Think Tanks and other Non-Governmental Organizations

Evaluating think tanks

  • Think Tank Watch is a blog covering think tank news
  • The Think Tank Spectrum in Extra!, a publication of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) compiled a list categorizing some of the most frequently cited think tanks as conservative, progressive, centrist, etc.

  • Think Tank Credibility is an annotated reading list on credibility and misinformation