Specific subjects

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Besides depicting the Stockholm Network's structure, activities, involved people, and its think tanks the Think Tank Network Initiative is taking a closer look at certain thematic contexts: currently the Stockholm Network's position concerning

  • the current financial and economic crisis
  • climate and environmental policies.

The current financial and economic crisis has unsettled the faith, at least in the medial discourse, into the self-regulatory powers and efficiency of the markets and one could have gotten the impression the neoliberal discourse has crumbled at its core. Governments are challenged to intervene into market processes with financial rescue and regulatory measures, and limiting the development of ever more risky financial products.

A number of think tanks of the Stockholm Network are dedicated to safeguarding and defending the market efficiency discourse against positions that understand the current crisis as virtual disclaimer of the same. Depending on the think tanks ideological alignment and their political interests the think tanks can be grouped into three categories. The first categorically reckons with the state's monetary policies, which are understood as distorting market conditions fundamentally. The second argues from a regulative perspective and discusses regulation of markets as conditional for their proper functioning. The third category features prominently the question of how to deal with the crisis impact. In the latter discussion the contours of rigid budgetary and austerity policies are detectable.

Besides the financial and economic crisis governments are also legitimized by the man-made climate change to intervene sustainably into economic processes. Climate protection targets, carbon dioxide emission limits, and the specific promotion of renewable energies limits the market's role as identification process for economic efficient solutions. The political program collides with core principles of neoliberal theory. Thus not surprisingly, a number of think tanks of the Stockholm Network propagate anthropogenic climate change skeptic positions. However, those rejecting the fact of global warming are not in a majority. Another line of argument accepts the scientific view of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)as authoritative and accordingly accepts the fact that environmental conditions set limits to political and economic activities. The latter group is more interested in compliance with the market and free trade oriented implementation of climate protection policies than in ideological controversy on principles, e.g. demanding the repayment of subsidies for the solar energy industry and setting of a general framework to establish renewable energies on the free market.

Network Synopses • Financial and Economic crises • Environmental Policies

Analyses under this section may also focus on other parts or aspects of the total network such as national contexts in transnational networks or specific activities of the think tanks, e.g.

  • German members of the Stockholm Network
  • scientific research conducted by the think tanks
  • the think tanks media relations
  • funding of the think tanks.