Swedish Think Tanks: Between Knowledge and Ideology
Background and research questions:
Theoretically, neo-institutional organizational theory and the concepts of institutional work and institutional logics are used. Empirically, the focus is Swedish think tanks, which encompass academic research and political advocacy and thus the two seemingly distinct institutional logics of knowledge production and ideology production.
The study examines:
- The individual actors who (re)produce and/or challenge the respective logics in the organizations:
- The intra-organizational arenas where this takes place;
- The tools, strategies and methods employed by the individual actors in that context.
The project contributes to theory on institutional work; to our understanding of how individual actors manage conflicting institutional logics and affect institutions; and to our understanding of think tanks as political actors.
These questions have been studied through an extensive mapping survey covering the Swedish think tank population with interviews with managers in combination with studies of relevant documents. This overview study was then followed by in depth case studies where the boards, managers and employees of four prominent Swedish think tanks were interviewed.
The proliferation of Swedish think tanks during the last 20 years is closely linked to the transformation of Swedish civil society structures and of systems of interest representation, and that think tanks should analytically be understood as the allies of the older, established forces in civil society. Read more in this article.
The project has been funded by Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse.
Read more about the project on ResearchGate.