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Think Tanks

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About this Course

About the Course

This course explores the role of think tanks in UK Politics and is oriented around the UK Politics section of the Government and Politics A-Level specifications. We begin in the first lecture with a brief overview of what think tanks are, noting the role of think tanks as research organisations and the relationship between think tanks and public policy. Then, in the second lecture, we ask what think tanks do. Here we pay particular attention to two key claims made by think tanks: first, that they possess specialist knowledge and expertise, and second, that they are independent. In the third lecture, we turn to the role of think tanks in UK Politics, before in the fourth lecture exploring some case studies of how think tanks have recently influenced UK public policy. In the fifth lecture, we explore evidence of various attitudes towards think tanks, including party and ideological differences, before in the sixth lecture turning to Professor Arshed’s own research into think tanks and her study entitled “The origins of policy ideas: The important of think tanks in the enterprise policy process in the UK”.

About the Lecturer

Norin Arshed joined the University of Dundee in October 2017 and is Professor, Chair of Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean of Research in the School of Business. She is an economist by background with professional experience both in the public and private sectors. Norin’s work focuses on enterprise policy, especially the role and contribution of those linked to enterprise policy formulation (ministers and civil servants) and policy implementation (national, regional and local economic development agencies). As a direct result of her work in women’s enterprise, Norin was appointed as an Independent Government Advisor to the Scottish Government’s Minister of Business, Fair Skills and Work (2019-2020).