Information on think tanks

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Directories of International Think Tanks

  • A comprehensive description of the international think tank landscape offers James McGann[1]. McGann counts more than 6500 think tanks[2]. The web-based directory of think tanks can be accessed here

McGann published a report listing all those think tanks worldwide that he considers influential. Here the link to the latest ranking by McGann from 2009: World Rankings of Think-Tanks with Dr. James G. McGann (United Nations University)[3] []

  • A bibliografical project listing publications by a selection of international think tanks can be looked at Global Think Tank Watch (Global Security Reseach Institute der Universität Keio, Japan)
  • Lists of international think tanks with links to their websites (if existing) are accessable at:
  • The Japanese National Institute for Research Advancement compiled NIRA's World Directory of Think Tanks. It was started earlier than the above mentioned but is not up-to-date anymore (last up-date: 2005)[4]
  • The Observatoire Français de Think Tanks Observatoire Français de Think Tanks so far has documented only 27 institutes. But it provides a journal and extensive background information on the think tanks.

Directories of European and German Think Tanks

  • Notre Europe provides a list of European think tanks [5], and a number of reviews [6]
  • Daniel Florian's directory of German and European think tanks currently includes 151 German [7] and 72 European think tanks [8]. He provides brief information about think tank type (advocacy or academic) and size, and about subject areas addressed Thinktank-Directory Additionally you can find there a weblog with current background information: [9]
  • The German Goethe-Institut keeps record of German academic and mostly public funded think tanks, which is thematically organized: Tanks: Deutschland denkt
  • Scattered information on French free-market libera and their management can be researched here [ wikiliberal] und liberpedia.
  • The German Journal on political consulting Zeitschrift für Politikberatung first appeared in 2008. Every now and then the journal publishes an article on think tanks, e.g. the self-portrayal of the Council on Public Policy but also analytical contributions.


  • Regulate Lobbying is a website that offers links to regulations for lobbying around the world. Additionally they have a short paper on the comparison of these regulations online availabe.
  • The European Foundation Centre published a comparative study on the differences of legislation for foundations among the EU-27.

Subject Classification

Top 25% Think Tanks, as of April 2010

Critique of PR and manipulative activities of Think Tanks

The following organizations offer insights into PR activities (including influencing and manipulating public opinion) of think tanks.

  • Spinwatch, see also [10] and Sourcewatch observe and interpret the activities of conservative and free-market liberal think tanks as part of an PR industry that represents and disseminates ideas of privatization, cutback of the welfare state, and general deregulation.
  • insmwatchblog observes activities of the German initiative on a new social market economy - Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM).
  • Mediamattersaction focusses on and documents how conservative and free-market liberal think tanks are funded (mainly by U.S. foundations and corporations).
  • Transparency unthinkable? - this article by the NGO Corporate Europe, although from 2005 still relevant, elaborates on the fact that there is still an information gap on how European think tanks are funded.
  • See also the European Transparency Initiative [11] and its register of lobbyists [12] and last but not least: Lobbycontrol on questions of lobbying and transparency.

deu:Infos über Think Tanks