Mattia Diletti

The War of Ideas. Ideological think tanks and the Formation of the U.S. Conservative Intelligentzia

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Informations and abstract

Keywords: Us Politics - Conservative Foundations - Nation Ideology

A think tank is an organization which conducts research and produces ideas and policy proposals with the aim of influencing the policy making process. The first think tanks emerged in the United States during the Progressive Era. They supported governmental intervention, trying to institutionalise the use of scientific methods in public administration. This way experts and Progressive elites sought to make governmental action more efficient and rational. A new generation of think tanks emerged in the 1970's. The new wave of think tanks were ideologically oriented and mostly right wing. They outnumbered the "old guard" think tanks and liberal think tanks. They introduced new organizational elements, mixing expertise and political marketing, ideology and management. They achieved two goals: they brought about a new kind of relationship between politics and knowledge than the one established in the twentieth century, and they made the conservative way of thinking truly national.

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