The Release of the 2012 Global Go To Think Tank Index (McGann)
The preliminary results from the '2012 Global Go To Think Tank Index' were presented this week. The index was created by Dr. James McGann, Director of the 'International Relations' and the 'Think Tanks and Civil Societies' programs at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McGann has built a solid reputation for itself in the public policy field.
The basis of his research are the so-called 'think tanks', private institutions that defend principles or stand for a particular set of ideas and promote open debate. Debates which, in turn, pave the way to the spreading of new ideas.
This unique index features more than 1,647 distinguished institutions from all over the world, with the purpose of highlighting the works and achievements each one shows. Furthermore, approximately 1,950 institutions and experts in the field of public policy voted for those organizations they believe have a major influence and relevance according to their area of focus and the region where they operate.
The results of the index in the United States and the rest of the world
This Index includes think tanks with varying expertise, most of them globally renowned. In the category tagged 'Top 150 think tanks –Worldwide', The Brookings Institution (U.S.) received the greatest amount of votes, followed by The Chatam House (United Kingdom).
Among the most prominent think tanks in the United States of America that advocate the ideas related to free market and individual rights, we find The Heritage Foundation (#9 in the ranking), The Cato Institute (position #10), Acton (#34) and The Independent Institute (ranked #54).
The Index results along Latin America
Fundacao Getulio Vargas (Brazil) achieved the first position in the ranking, under the classification Top 45 Think Tanks in South and Central America, followed by ECLAC (Chile) and CEP (Chile). The new version of the ranking presents a list of many influential institutions in the region, most of them strongly supporting libertarian ideas; among them we find CEDICE (Venezuela, ranked #4), Fundacion Libertad (Argentina, position #30), Libertad y Desarrollo (Chile, #26) and Instituto Libertad y Democracia (Peru, ranked #23).
2012 represented a hectic year indeed for think tanks and NGOs that devote their existance to the promotion of individual rights and freedom. Their valuable task is often shadowed by the action and hostility represented by the region's populist governments that endorse the repression of free speech and individual freedom, while endorsing State interventionism in the process.
Nevertheless, it is believed that the years to come will push up the shares of the think tanks, especially taking into consideration that the populist governments' agenda in Latin America seem to be facing many problems in what comes to leadership. Such is the evolution of the scenario in countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Argentina.