Penn ranks world's top think tanks

The University started rating think tanks in 2006

· January 22, 2014, 8:12 pm

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Penn’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program released its annual think tank rankings Wednesday, a widely known index that has been praised for its evaluation of the policy-oriented institutions.

At the top of the index is the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., which was awarded the Think Tank of the Year for 2013.

Some of the topics recently studied by the institute include American monetary policy and the effects of university technology transfer contracts on the larger market economy.

Brookings received the same designation of top think tank last year as well.

Director of TTCSP James McGann said the purpose of the rankings is “to underscore the important role that think tanks play,” especially in the modern age where there is an “avalanche of information.”

McGann elaborated that part of the report’s purpose is to raise the profile of think tanks “to increase their capacity so that they can increase their performance.”

Chatham House, a think tank on international policy based in the United Kingdom, came in first on the list of Top Think Tanks Worldwide that were not in the United States and second on the list of all think tanks worldwide.

Ten think tanks from the United States and eight think tanks from Europe were in the top 25 of the Top Think Tanks Worldwide, making up 72 percent of that list. Africa, Oceania and the Middle East had no think tanks in the top 25 think tanks in the world.

The Japan Institute of International Affairs was chosen as the top think tank in Asia and was ranked at 13 in the world. The highest ranked South American institute, Fundação Getulio Vargas, is from Brazil, and came in at number 21 on the list.

This year’s rankings were decided by a group of more than 1,950 experts and think tank representatives, who judged organizations based on their quality, academic performance, publications and reputation, among other factors.

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TTCSP announced its ratings at a press conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the World Bank. Regional events also took place in over 30 cities around the world to announce the report.

The think tank rankings were first created in 2006 as a response to donors, government officials, scholars and journalists requesting a ranking of the world’s “preeminent” think tanks, according to the TTCSP report.

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