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Марийский государственный университет
Опорный вуз Марий ЭлУчастник программы "Приоритет 2030"

Федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение высшего образования



The phenomenon of 'think tanks': analytical institutions and their influence on foreign policy. The experience of Russia and the EU


Discussion at the 58th meeting of the political science club "Socrates"

"Think tanks" became the property of politics mainly after the Second World War, although the first mention of them, namely by the Brookings Institute, dates back to 1916, when the "thought factories" were still at the beginning of their institutionalization.

Opening the monthly meeting of the Socrates club, moderator, Associate Professor of the Department of Intercultural Communication and Candidate of Political Sciences Evegeniy Suslov noted that the socio-economic and political development of a country is impossible without deep intellectual work aimed at identifying serious problems in society and forecasts of its development. In the modern world, the so-called "thought factories" have become effective institutions of strategic intellectual support. Actively implemented social projects are impossible in Russia without the creation of such bodies of intellectual social, economic and political activation.
Acting as an expert, Associate Professor of the Department of Intercultural Communication and Candidate of Political Sciences Alexey Fominykh recalled the history of the emergence of "thought factories" in the West and in the USSR (and subsequently in modern Russia), their typical structure, organizational and financial models, as well as thematic activities, which are determined by both the political orientation of the expert community and affiliation with various parties or corporations.

Separately, the question of the degree of involvement of "thought factories" in the process of making foreign policy decisions, differences in the practice of interaction of analysts with the state in the countries of the European Union and the Russian Federation was analyzed. It was emphasized that, despite the comparative "youth" of the Russian international political expert tradition, it absorbed many advanced developments of the Soviet analytical school (in particular, the methods of situational analysis by E.M. Primakov). At the same time, according to the degree of their influence, Russian state and private expert structures are still in the position of "catching up" compared to the status of the most authoritative foreign counterparts. This may be due to both the peculiarities of Russian domestic political culture and the decision-making algorithms inherited from the Soviet era, and the concentration of most Russian "think tanks" in metropolitan megacities, while the intellectual resources of the regions remain unrealized. Nevertheless, the professional career of an international analyst is open to students studying International Relations and future journalists.

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