Do Think-Tanks Have A Future?

Chatham House Director, Dr Robin Niblett, describes the principal challenges to the relevance and credibility of think-tanks today at a time of growing societal distrust of established institutions offering ‘expert’ views.

Explainer Video Published 21 November 2018 Updated 8 July 2021 80 minute watch

Do Think-Tanks Have A Future?

Drawing on his article in International Affairs, Dr Niblett describes five practical steps that think-tanks can take to renew their sense of purpose at a time when the pillars of the western-led international order are eroding.

How should think-tanks operate in societies flooded with information especially with disinformation campaigns and ‘alternative facts’? What new technologies and strategies should they adopt to engage with society more broadly?

And should think-tanks be satisfied with remaining sources of independent debate and analysis or is it time for them to adopt a more proactive stance where they are explicit about the principles they believe underpin peace and prosperity?

About the Martin Wight Lecture

Martin Wight was a seminal figure in the development of international relations theory in Britain and an influential historian of the political civilisation of Europe. Soon after his death in 1972, a number of his friends and associates decided to commemorate his name by establishing an endowment for an annual lecture, to be given in successive years at The University of Sussex, LSE and Chatham House - the three institutions with which Wight was most closely connected during the last quarter of a century of his working life.