Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term think tank has been used to describe both private and public organizations that provide advice to governments. A generally accepted definition would describe think tanks as organizations that are distinct from government and whose objective is to provide advice on a diverse range of policy issues through the use of specialized knowledge and the activation of networks. What follows in this entry is, first, a discussion of the historical and geographical development of the concept; second, a typology of think tanks; third, a discussion of characteristics and myths related to think tanks; and finally, some thoughts about the impact of globalization on think tanks. The term think tank was first used in military jargon during World War II to describe a safe place where plans and strategies could be discussed, but its meaning started changing during the 1960s when it was used in the United States to considerably. ...