Upcoming event at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS): “Policy Making, the Public and Research: Why Think Tanks Matter”


“Policy Making, the Public and Research: Why Think Tanks Matter” 
26 February 2016, 2:00-3.30 p.m., Danish Institute for International Studies, Auditorium, Gl. Kalkbrænderi Vej 51A – 2100 Copenhagen

On January 27th the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania released for the 9th consecutive year the “Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.” The Danish Institute for International Studies, which defines itself as an independent research institution for international studies, is the highest-ranked institution in Denmark and is tasked to organize this launch event of the report.

The seminar dwelled on the unusual role of policy research in public life. Policy research is expected to be independent but not necessarily neutral about the consequences of certain courses of action for policy making and the public debate. That often puts the legitimacy of public policy institutes in question, but it also plays a vital role in strengthening the quality of a mature democratic debate through knowledge.

Against this background: what is the role of policy research play in policy making and vis-à-vis the public? Should it be the catalyst of new ideas or the watchdog of existing ones? How can it contribute to a vibrant public debate and informed policy-making process without itself becoming politicized?

We convened a panel of policy makers, journalists, and civil servants to discuss these questions, each from their own perspectives.


Jim MCGANN, Director, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, Wharton School and School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Connie HEDEGAARD, Chairman of Concito

Anne Mette VESTERGAARD, Head of Office, European Parliament in Denmark

Fabrizio TASSINARI, Research Coordinator, DIIS

More information can be found here.