Monday, January 24, 2011

World’s Best Think Tanks (UPenn Rankings)

World’s Best Think Tanks - 2011 Rankings

James G. McGann, Ph.D. / Director
University of Pennsylvania / January 25, 2010

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS______________________________________________ 4
METHODOLOGY AND TIMELINE_____________________________________ 6
GLOBAL TRENDS AND TRANSITIONS________________________________10
NOMINATED THINK TANKS_________________________________________19
THE TOP THINK TANKS IN THE WORLD (NON-US)_____________________29
TOP THINK TANKS IN THE UNITED STATES___________________________31
TOP THINK TANKS BY REGION______________________________________32
SPECIAL CATEGORIES______________________________________________ 44
ABOUT THE AUTHOR_______________________________________________ 47
APPENDICES_______________________________________________________ 49

The 2009 Global Go To Think Tank Rankings marks the fourth year edition of what has now become an annual report. The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the International Relations Program, University of Pennsylvania has created a process for ranking think tanks around the world. It is the first comprehensive ranking of the world’s top think tanks, based on a worldwide survey of hundreds of scholars and experts. The think tank index has been described as the insider’s guide to the global marketplace of ideas. For this ambitious project, I have assembled a panel of close to 300 experts from around the world, across the political spectrum and from every discipline and sector to help nominate and select public policy research centers of excellence for 2009. The members of the Expert Panel were asked to nominate regional or global centers of excellence that they felt should be recognized for producing rigorous and relevant research, publications and programs in one or more substantive areas of research.

The Global Go To Think Tank Rankings was launched in 2006 in response to the never-ending requests that I received from journalists, scholars and government officials to provide a list of the leading think tanks in a particular country or region of the world. When I first designed the project it was intended to identify some of the leading think tanks in the world in an attempt to answer these inquiries in a more systematic fashion. Over the last 4 years the process has been refined and the number of institutions and individuals involved in the project has grown steadily.

The primary objective of the rankings is to recognize some of the leading public policy think tanks in the world and highlight the important contributions these organizations are making to governments and civil societies around the world. In four short years the Global Go To Index has become an authoritative source for the top public policy research institutes in the world. Last year’s Report was featured in the January/February issue of Foreign Policy magazine and The Economist and this year the report will be launched at a briefing at the United Nations.

Contained in this Report are the results of the 2009 Global Go To Think Tank Rankings. Also included in this report is a summary of the major trends and issues that think tanks face across the globe. These trends were identified through our annual survey of think tanks and interviews with the staff of think tanks and civil society organizations in every region of the world.

Overall, this year’s rankings and selection process marked a number of significant improvements over previous years. We have continued to expand the participation in the rankings process by adding more members to the Expert Panel, formalizing the recruitment of Expert Panelists, creating an on-line survey instrument and increasing outreach to those regions that were underrepresented in the past. These changes have resulted in a larger, more diverse, and more representative pool of nominees and finalists.


1. Top Think Tank in the World
– Top Think Tank Worldwide

2. Top Think Tanks by Region
– Top Think Tanks Worldwide (Excluding US Think Tanks)
– Top Think Tanks- United States
– Top Think Tanks- North America
– Top Think Tanks in Latin America and the Caribbean
– Top Think Tanks in the Middle East and North Africa
– Top Think Tanks in Southern Africa (Including Sub-Saharan Africa)
– Top Think Tanks in Western Europe
– Top Think Tanks in Eastern Europe
– Top Think Tanks in Asia

3. Top Think Tanks by Research Area
– Top International Development Think Tanks
– Top Health Policy Think Tanks
– Top Environment Think Tanks
– Top Security and International Affairs Think Tanks
– Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks
– Top International Economic Policy Think Tanks
– Top Social Policy Think Tanks
– Top Science and Technology Think Tanks

4. Top Think Tanks by Special Achievement
– Think Tanks with the Most Innovative Policy/Idea Proposal
– Best New Think Tank (established in the last 3-5 years)
– Best Use of Internet to Engage the Public
– Outstanding Policy Oriented- Public Policy Research Program
– Best Use of the Media (Print or Electronic) to Communicate Programs and
– Most Impact on Public Policy and Debates

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