Building a think tank: an alternative, progressive public space in Ireland

Clancy, Paula (2015) Building a think tank: an alternative, progressive public space in Ireland. [Doctorate by Public Works]

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Abstract

From 2001 to 2010, the author founded and ran the first independent, progressive and evidence-based think tank in the Republic of Ireland. TASC - a think tank for Action on Social Change - is an independent, progressive think tank, based in Dublin, Ireland, whose core focus is economic equality and democratic accountability. TASC as an entity is the public work that forms the basis of the context statement. The themes explored concern the specific challenges involved in establishing an independent, progressive think tank in Ireland. To provide context, a short chronological account of the ten years from 2001 - 2010 is provided. This is followed by a discussion of how and why TASC is not only the first independent think tank in the Republic of Ireland, but acted as a catalyst for the emergence of a think tank field there. The issue of legitimacy is key to the evolution of both TASC and the space for think tanks so in Section 3, dimensions of this issue are examined. Many argue that because think tanks are founded and run by self-selected, small groups of individuals that at best they represent only these people and at worst serve the vested interests which fund them, while others argue that think tanks are an essential component of a pluralist society. Some of these arguments are explored in Section 4, which describes how TASC’s unique structure and functioning impacted on the author, the wider group involved in TASC and TASC staff. In Section 5, the role of funding is discussed, identifying the importance of charitable foundations to TASC’s establishment and survival in the first crucial ten years. Section 6 offers the authors concluding reflections.

Item Type: Doctorate by Public Works
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Doctorates by Public Works
Item ID: 18454
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2015 17:26
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 04:58
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18454

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