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Think tanks are institutions that generate public policy research, analysis and activity. Their output can include publications, reports, blogposts and journals. They can be independent or affiliated with other organizations. Most are non-profit, but some are funded by governments, advocacy groups, or corporations, and may derive revenue from consulting or research work related to their projects. They can be non-partisan or partisan, so pay attention to the goals of the organization when using the information they generate. You may also want to read the Wiki entry for each think tank to get an outsider's perspective on their goals. When available, I have included information from WIkipedia in the descriptions below.
As think tanks are an information source with some unique attributes, Harvard's Kennedy School Library created a website with useful information on evaluating think tanks and their research.They have also created a custom Google Search of over 1200 think tanks:
Harvard Kennedy School - Think Tank Search
A custom Google search of over 1200 think tank websites. For the purposes of this search, think tanks are defined as institutions affiliated with universities, governments, advocacy groups, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and businesses that generate public policy research, analysis, and activity.
Other related security and strategic studies think tanks you may want to investigate include:
Arms Control Association
From their website: A national nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies. Publishes the monthly magazine Arms Control Today.
From the Wikipedia: An American Atlanticist think tank in the field of international affairs, founded in 1961. It manages ten regional centers and functional programs related to international security and global economic prosperity.
From the Wikipedia: conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. Its stated mission is to "provide innovative and practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy; foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and secure a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system." The University of Pennsylvania's Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has named Brookings "Think Tank of the Year" and "Top Think Tank in the World" every year since 2008. The Economist describes Brookings as "perhaps America’s most prestigious think-tank." Brookings states that its staff "represent diverse points of view" and describes itself as non-partisan.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP)
A unique global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States with a mission to advance peace through analysis and development of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decisionmakers in government, business, and civil society (CEIP website). U Penn's 2015 Global Go To Think Tanks Report ranks CEIP the third most influential think tank in the world (Wikipedia).
Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
Bipartisan think tank specializing in US national security issues. CNAS's stated mission is to "develop strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values." CNAS focuses on terrorism and irregular warfare, the future of the U.S. military, the emergence of Asia as a global power center, and the national security implications of natural resource consumption (Wikipedia).
Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments (CSBA)
Funded by unspecified U.S. Defense Department agencies and corporations with a focus on U.S. defense and budget policy (Wikipedia). "An independent, nonprofit public policy research institute established to promote innovative thinking about defense planning and investment strategies for the 21st century (CSBA website)."
Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
Founded at Georgetown University in 1962, conducts policy studies and strategic analyses of political, economic and security issues throughout the world, with a specific focus on issues concerning international relations, trade, technology, finance, energy and geostrategy. U Penn's 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Report ranked it the number one think tank in the world for Top Defense and National Security Think Tanks. "Dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world (CSIS website)." Officially bipartisan with scholars that represent varying points of view across the political spectrum.
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
Independent, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to being a resource to help society better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the US and other countries.
Federation of American Scientists (FAS)
Provides science-based analysis of and solutions to protect against catastrophic threats to national and international security. Specifically, FAS works to reduce the spread and number of nuclear weapons, prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism, promote high standards for nuclear energy’s safety and security, illuminate government secrecy practices, as well as prevent the use of biological and chemical weapons.
Institute for the Study of War (ISW)
US–based, describes itself as non-partisan and providing research and analysis regarding issues of defense and foreign affairs. Others have described ISW as "a hawkish Washington" group favoring an "aggressive foreign policy." It has produced reports on the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War, "focusing on military operations, enemy threats, and political trends in diverse conflict zones." A non-profit supported by grants and contributions from large defense contractors, including Raytheon, General Dynamics, DynCorp and others (Wikipedia).
International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
An international research institute that provides objective information on military, geopolitical and geo-economic developments that could lead to conflict.
Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)
A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and philanthropist Ted Turner that works to prevent catastrophic attacks and accidents with weapons of mass destruction and disruption – nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber.
Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA)
Conducts defense policy research, analysis, and development, combining “common security” and “defense reform” perspectives.
A research organization that develops American nonprofit global policy, created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the US Armed Forces. Financed by the US government and private endowments, corporations, universities and private individuals. The company has grown to assist other governments, international organizations, private companies and foundations, with a host of defense and non-defense issues, including healthcare. RAND aims for interdisciplinary and quantitative problem solving by translating theoretical concepts from formal economics and the physical sciences into novel applications in other areas, using applied science and operations research (Wikipedia).
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
An independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
Union of Concerned Scientists
A US nonprofit founded by scientists and students at MIT who sought to use the power of science to address global problems and improve people’s lives and solve the planet's most pressing problems by combining technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.
University Related Thnk Tanks
International Development Reports/Articles
ELDIS (international development) This link opens in a new window
Find global development research for policy and practice including policy documents, reports, grey literature from governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Organized by key themes (nutrition, environment, children, education, health, etc.) and country/region.