The case for think tanks
Typically, think tanks analyse, develop and promote new policy ideas. Although many think tanks are perceived to have a political leaning, the most successful take pride in their ideas being adopted across a broad political spectrum. The diagram below illustrates this point perfectly.
Although some think tanks have a specific agenda to promote, many enjoy charitable status with the associated tax advantages and regulation. Their contribution is valuable and they represent a key component of the policy infrastructure around most governments in the developed world. In particular, they can provide a bridge for the promotion of ideas and research conducted in academia to the policy agenda.
There are a small number of think tanks operating in Scotland. However, they have very limited resources and their scale has lagged the transfer of powers to Holyrood: Scottish think tank infrastructure has not been able to expand to meet the challenge of a more complex policy environment.
Read our Case for Think Tanks in full for a more detailed analysis on why the SPF is a crucial tool that will boost the quality of governance in Scotland.