Think Tanks and
Civil Societies Program-- At the International
Relations Program, University of Pennsylvania, "conducts
research on the role policy institutes play in governments
and in civil societies around the world... often referred
to as the 'think tank’s think tank'... examines the
evolving role and character of public policy research
organizations... The Center’s database continues to be the
only multi-sectoral database of think tanks, consisting of
over 6500 think tanks in 179 countries around the world."
Produces and posts the unique annual Global Go To Think
Tank Index rankings report, "based on a
worldwide survey of hundreds of scholars and experts,"
that identifies the major think tanks worldwide and
discusses their goals, political tendencies, and influence
Directories, Blogs, Databases, and Search Engines for Research Institutes and Their Products
NOTE: Specialized research institutes are also found on the Peace, Conflict Resolution, and International Security, American Foreign Policy, Global Environment, European Union, and International Development pages of this site, among others.
Insightful Blog on
Think Tanks-- on think tanks
Policy Online-- "Easy access to much of the best
Australian social, economic, cultural and political
research available online... a news service and library
specialising in Australian public policy reports and
articles from academic research centres, think tanks,
government and non-government organisations."
Excellent free U.S. librarian-run service that "offers a
hand-picked [annotated] selection of resources, reports
and publications from government agencies, NGOs, think
tanks and other public interest organizations." Posts
archives in many subjects, with daily updates, and sends
free weekly e-mail newsletter highlighting recent posts.
To access the full archives in any subject, check the
DocuBase and its Article Categories.
Full Text Reports has a large international section summarizing and linking to free major online studies in PDF. The site is "a top-tier research professional's hand-picked selection of documents from academe, corporations, government agencies (including the Congressional Research Service), interest groups, NGOs, professional societies, research institutes, think tanks, trade associations, and more."
Kennedy School Library Think Tank Search-- "A custom Google search of more than 450 U.S.
and non-U.S. think tank websites... [i.e.] institutions
affiliated with universities, governments, advocacy
groups, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and
businesses that generate public policy research, analysis,
"Provides open source intelligence assessments and
independent security briefings from a wealth of reliable
sources, including our own analysts. These are assessed...
and filed by our regional
desks on this website, where they can be accessed by
[those] wishing to gain a fresh perspective on key
defence, security and foreign policy issues."
Policypointers-- "Online facility created to enable those involved in government, academe and the media to gain rapid access to the research and conclusions of think tanks, research institutes and government departments around the world." Site posts report titles in many policy areas, descriptions, and links to the reports themselves.
The Social Science Research Network "is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research and is composed of a number of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences." Thousands of academic and research institute papers are available for free download, including many in international studies topics.
• Atlantic Council of the United States--
"Promotes constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in
international affairs based on the central role of the
Atlantic community in meeting the international challenges
of the 21st century." Up to date news and analysis with
policy papers, reports, and audio online. Note the policy
analysis blog New Atlanticist.
• British American Security Information
Council-- An independent research organization
that analyzes government policies in defense,
disarmament, military strategy, and nuclear issues.
Searchable, with online publications on security issues.
• Brookings Institution-- The oldest
think tank in the U.S., seeks to improve the performance
of American institutions, the effectiveness of government
programs, and the quality of U.S. public policies,
including foreign policy. Note both the Foreign Policy and the Research
Topics sections for international analysis and
• Carnegie Council for Ethics in
International Affairs-- Fine large site from an
independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit U.S. organization
dedicated to research and education in the areas of
international ethics, war and peace, global social
justice, and religion in politics. Posts a wide range of
videos, "research papers, articles, and annotated
collections of materials."
Endowment for International Peace-- Conducts
programs of research, discussion, publication, and
education in international affairs and U.S. foreign
policy, and publishes the quarterly journal Foreign
Policy. Specialties are "particularly in the areas
of Russia and Eurasia, China, the Indian
subcontinent/South Asia, globalization, nonproliferation
and security affairs." Many publications are posted online, such
as policy briefs, working papers, and reports. The
Carnegie Endowment has other centers in Moscow,
Beirut, and Brussels,
the latter for the EU.
Center-- A non-profit, nonpartisan U.S. public
policy institute founded by former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, dedicated to fighting
disease, hunger, poverty, conflict, and oppression through
collaborative initiatives in the areas of democratization
and development, global health, and urban revitalization.
• Center for International Policy--
Promotes a U.S. foreign policy that reflects democratic
values and a more sympathetic, farsighted, and
non-militaristic approach to the developing world.
• Center for International Security and
Cooperation-- Part of the Freeman Spogli Institute
for International Studies at Stanford University and an
"interdisciplinary university-based research and training
center addressing some of the world's most difficult
security problems with policy-relevant solutions." Posts
results of its studies in nuclear security, terrorism and
counterterrorism, conflict resolution, global governance,
and international relations.
for Security Studies-- "At ETH Zurich, specialises
in research, teaching, and the provision of electronic
services in international and Swiss security policy. An
academic institute with a major think-tank capacity, it
has a wide network of partners." Note especially the very
Trends Analysis, "a community platform on
international security and world affairs featuring
publications, graphics, and audio and video podcasts
produced by CSS." Posts Strategic Trends, "a concise
annual analysis of major developments in world affairs,
with a primary focus on international security."
Strategic and International Studies-- Leading U.S.
public policy research institution, with many online
studies and multimedia resources on country and regional
situations and key functional areas, such as international
finance, U.S. domestic and economic policy, and U.S.
foreign policy and national security issues. Note the publications
page for online items.
• Center for Transatlantic Relations-- At Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, "a non-profit research center that engages opinion leaders on contemporary challenges facing Europe and North America. The goal of the Center is to strengthen and reorient transatlantic relations to the dynamics of a globalizing world." Posts articles, policy studies, conference proceedings, and news on the topic.
• Centre for International Governance
Innovation-- "Independent, nonpartisan [Canadian]
think tank that addresses international governance
challenges... supports research, forms networks, advances
policy debate, builds capacity, and generates ideas for
multilateral governance improvements." Site posts blogs
and CIGI's research products in many forms. The excellent
Library provides full-text access to
"over 27,000 books, journals, and digital documents
related to global governance, CIGI’s research themes, and
Canadian foreign policy."
House-- Home of the Royal Institute of International
Affairs, this is the UK's foremost, world-class institute
for international affairs research and is publisher of The
World Today and International Affairs. Posts
many briefing papers, reports, news, and press releases on
global and regional matters.
• Council on Foreign Relations-- The
most influential private organization in U.S. foreign
policy, whose ranks include nearly all past and present
senior U.S. government officials who deal with
international matters, renowned scholars, and leaders of
business, media, human rights, humanitarian, and other
nongovernmental groups. This excellent site posts Council
studies, with much current and archived analytical
material online about international relations and U.S.
foreign policy, by region and topic.The Topics Index
is very useful. The Council's prestigious journal Foreign
Affairs has contents and some full-text articles
and book reviews online, with archive, plus links to
related online resources. The Global Governance Monitor is "a
tool that shows how the international community is doing
in addressing the most daunting threats that it faces."
Public Opinion on Global Issues is
"a comprehensive digest of existing polling data on U.S.
and global public attitudes on the world's most pressing
challenges... [that] consolidates global and U.S. public
opinion across ten major issue areas: elements of world
order, international institutions, violent conflict,
terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, energy
security, the global economy, economic development, and
• European Leadership Network-- "Works to advance the idea of a cooperative and cohesive Europe and to develop the collaborative European capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security policy challenges of our time." Posts reports, publications, news, and other resources on the topic.
House-- Many online studies ranking countries on
measures of freedom, such as the annual Freedom of the
Press, the annual Freedom in the World, informative
backgrounders and other publications, are offered by this
nonprofit, nonpartisan U.S. organization dedicated to
promoting democracy around the world.
• Gateway House: Indian
Council on Global Relations-- From Mumbai, a
"foreign policy think-tank... to engage India’s leading
corporations and individuals in debate and scholarship on
India’s foreign policy and its role in global affairs...
independent and non-partisan... based on intellectual
scholarship." Posts much information and analysis on the
• German Council on Foreign Relations-- "Germany’s network for foreign policy. As an independent, non-partisan, and nonprofit membership organization, think tank, and publisher the DGAP has been promoting public debate on foreign policy in Germany for over 50 years." Posts policy-oriented research products, blogs, and the online IP Journal. The Library is useful for research pointers and some online materials.
Institute of Global and Area Studies-- Major
research institute focusing on Africa, Asia, Latin
America, and the Middle East, in the context of major
global questions about democracy, globalization, global
power shifts, governance, emerging powers, violence and
security, and other systemic issues. Posts many studies on
• Global Public Policy
Institute-- "Independent think tank based in Berlin.
Our mission is to develop innovative strategies for
effective and accountable governance and to achieve
lasting impact at the interface of the public sector,
business and civil society..." Counts on a multinational
support network and posts many types of studies on key
global issues and global governance.
• Henry L. Stimson Center-- Nonprofit,
nonpartisan U.S. institution "devoted to enhancing
international peace and security through a unique
combination of rigorous analysis and outreach." Posts
publications in the research areas of transnational
threats, regional security, and effective institutions.
• Heritage Foundation-- A
conservative U.S. think tank aiming to spread the ideas of
free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom,
traditional American values, and a strong national
defense. Policy papers online. Note the Index
of Economic Freedom, "a practical [searchable]
reference guide to the world's economies. It includes
country-by-country analyses and the most up-to-date data
available on foreign investment codes, taxes, tariffs,
banking regulations, monetary policy, black markets, and
more,"co-published with The Wall Street Journal.
• Hoover Institution on War, Revolution
and Peace-- U.S. public policy research center at
Stanford University, on domestic and international
affairs, with ongoing programs of policy-oriented research
in economics, political science, history, international
relations, law, and other disciplines. Note the Hoover Digest, which "offers
informative writing on politics, economics, and history by
the scholars and researchers of the Hoover Institution..."
• Institute for Security and Development
Policy-- From Stockholm, "dedicated to expanding
understanding of international affairs, particularly the
interrelationship between the issue areas of conflict,
security and development. The Institute’s primary areas of
geographic focus are Asia and Europe’s neighborhood," with
many publications online.
• International Centre for the Study of
Radicalisation and Political Violence--
Multi-university effort that addresses "the most pressing
questions that can help to reduce the occurrence and
impact of radicalisation and political violence. Ongoing
projects look at how to reduce radicalisation online;
improve de-radicalisation programmes in prison; and
understand the differences between radicalisation in
Europe and North America." Posts papers, newsletters, and
projects on this topic.
• Jamestown Foundation-- Nonpartisan U.S. research institute aiming to "inform and educate policy makers and the broader policy community about events and trends in those societies which are strategically or tactically important to the United States." Main emphasis is on terrorism and the Eurasian region. News items, many insightful publications by a global network of experts, and several free e-mail newsletters are available.
• Japan Institute of International Affairs-- "Private, nonpartisan policy think-tank focused on foreign affairs and security issues. In addition to a wide range of research projects, the Institute promotes dialogues and joint studies with other institutions and experts at home and abroad, examines Japanese foreign policy and makes proposals to the government, and disseminates information on international relations to the public." Posts many studies in English, reflecting Japanese perspectives on international issues.
• Lowy Institute for International Policy-- "An independent, nonpartisan international policy think tank located in Sydney, Australia. Ranked as Australia's top think tank, the Institute provides high-quality research and distinctive perspectives on the trends shaping Australia and the world and fresh policy options on these questions."
• Netherlands Institute for International Relations ("Clingendael")-- The leading Dutch international affairs research organization. "Special attention is devoted to European integration, transatlantic relations, international security, conflict studies, policy making on national and international energy markets, negotiations and diplomacy, and to the United Nations and other international organisations." Posts many studies and online newsletter.
• Open Canada-- "Canada’s hub for international affairs," from the Canadian International Council, to "advance debate on international issues across academic disciplines, policy areas, and economic sectors." Posts features, topics, and other relevant Canadian content.
• Peter G. Peterson Institute for
International Economics-- A highly-regarded,
private, nonprofit, nonpartisan American research
institution devoted to the study of international economic
policy, especially in anticipating emerging issues and
offering "practical ideas, presented in user-friendly
formats, to inform and shape public debate." Many working
papers, policy briefs, speeches, testimonies, and so forth
• Population Reference Bureau-- Superb
for authoritative data and analysis on world, regional,
and national population and demographics trends. Features
a large multimedia repository. Note their Annual
Report and their annual World Population Data
Sheet for "up-to-date demographic, health, and
environment data for all the countries and major regions
of the world." Search for data and analysis by topic,
region, or country. The handy DataFinder has data on "133
population, health, and environment variables for more
than 220 countries, 28 world regions and sub-regions, and
the world as a whole." The quarterly Population
Bulletins on selected topics are very useful.
• RAND Corporation-- A nonprofit U.S.
institution providing research and analysis for policy and
decisionmaking. Sign up for e-mail notices about the free
online RAND Review, with articles and news
about RAND research products. Numerous excellent
international issues studies are online, so check the online publications page, among
others. For a European issues perspective, check the
website of RAND Europe, based in the UK.
• Royal United Services Institute-- World-class "independent think tank engaged in cutting edge defence and security research," in London, with expertise "utilised by governments, parliament and other key stakeholders." Posts authoritative studies online-- "rigorous, expert and objective analysis of current trends and developments"-- some free and some for members only.
• Russian International Affairs Council-- Organization whose mission is "to facilitate the prospering of Russia through its integration in the global world... a link between the state, expert community, business and civil society in an effort to find foreign policy solutions." Large site posts studies on Russian foreign policy, Russian views of world affairs, and general analysis.
Foundation-- U.S. research institute that is
"focused on promoting and building support for principled
multilateralism in addressing international issues."
Pursues policy initiatives on several major current issues
and posts many conference reports and bulletins.
International-- Transparency International is the
"leading global non-governmental organisation devoted to
combating corruption." Their many corruption surveys,
indexes, and reports rank "the home countries of the
payers of international bribes" and rank "countries in
terms of the degree to which they are perceived to be the
homes of bribe-takers-- public officials who abuse their
office for personal gain."
States Institute of Peace-- The mission of the USIP is to strengthen
the nation's capabilities to promote the peaceful
resolution of international conflicts. Institute project
reports, briefings, event summaries, and news items are
available online, with archives and extensive links on
conflict topics. Note the Publications & Tools section
and the Research Centers in International
Relations on the Web directory, by country. Peace Terms is an "extensive
glossary [that] provides short definitions of a wide
range of complex and often confusing terms used in the
field of conflict resolution."
• Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars-- Offers fellowships for scholars in residence in Washington, D.C., and researches issues of concern to official policy, hosting seminars and conferences, and producing publications and broadcasts. Site has information about these programs and projects, and many of their publications.