Understanding the Development of Think Tanks in Asia


  • Most research on think tanks has focused on their development, roles, and policy impact in North America, specifically the US. Yet, think tanks exist nowadays in every world region and have experienced particular strong growth in East Asia. Understanding them as a global phenomenon with different local manifestations, the project seeks to overcome the (conceptual and empirical) US bias in think tank research and explores the trajectories and traits of think tank sectors in East Asia and India.
    GIGA, 2015-2018


    Team

    Pascal Abb

    Former Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Raphaelle Khan

    Formerly Visiting Fellow

    Jane Hayward

    Dr. Sebastian Maslow

    Sendai Shirayuri Women’s College

    Alan Hao Yang

    Prof. Dr. Xufeng Zhu


    Head

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President


    Research Questions

    - Which factors drive the development of think tank sectors in various parts of Asia?
    - More specifically, how does political context affect the traits and trajectories of think tanks in different parts of Asia?
    - What kind of roles do (foreign policy) think tanks play in Asia?

    Contribution to International Research

    Most research on think tanks (TTs) has focused on their development, roles, and policy impact in North America, specifically the US. Yet, TTs exist nowadays in every world region and have experienced particular strong growth in East Asia. Understanding TTs as a global phenomenon with different local manifestations, the project seeks to overcome the (conceptual and empirical) US bias in TT research and explores the trajectories and traits of TT sectors in East Asia and India. A particular sectoral focus is put on the development and evolving roles of foreign policy TTs in various parts of the region.

    Research Design and Methods

    Combination of case studies and comparative analysis employing process and ideas tracing.

    Preliminary Findings

    Our research shows how particular political contexts have shaped the development of TT sectors in China, Taiwan, and Japan and how such development has been affected by context factors operating at different interactive levels: at the level of (i) inter- and transnational dynamics; (ii) governmental systems and their openness to policy advice and other think-tank services; and (iii) individual political leaders engaging with TTs.


    Global Political Transitions | 11/2021

    The Rise of New-Generation Foreign Policy Think Tanks in India: Causes, Contours, and Roles

    Dr. Raphaelle Khan

    Formerly Visiting Fellow

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Special Issue of Journal | 03/2018

    Special Issue: Understanding the Development of Think Tanks in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Prof. Dr. Xufeng Zhu

    China Analysis Value ZEITSCHRIFT / SAMMELBAND A hundred think tanks bloom in China | 08/2016

    China’s new think tank diplomacy

    Pascal Abb

    Former Doctoral Researcher

    International Journal: Canada's journal of global policy analysis | 2015

    Foreign Policy Think Tanks in China and Japan: Characteristics, Current Profile, and the Case of Collective Self-Defense

    Pascal Abb

    Former Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Speaker | 12/09/2014

    Think Tanks: Their Global Diversity and Roles in International Affairs

    Conference 12/09/2014

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Speaker | 03/07/2015

    Foreign Policy Think Tanks in China and Japan: Characteristics, Current Profile, and the Case of Collective Self-Defence

    Other 03/07/2015

    Talk at Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Speaker | 01/07/2015

    Foreign Policy Think Tanks in China and Japan: Characteristics, Current Profile, and the Case of Collective Self-Defence

    Other 01/07/2015

    Talk at Department of Politics, University of Otago

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

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