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Right MovesThe Conservative Think Tank in American Political Culture since 1945$
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Jason Stahl

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627861

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627861.001.0001

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Think Tanks in the Age of Reagan

Think Tanks in the Age of Reagan

(p.96) 3 Think Tanks in the Age of Reagan
Right Moves

Jason Stahl

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter details the entrenchment of the marketplace of ideas discourse of public policy formation during the 1980s and how think tanks used such a discourse in order to move U.S. political culture further to the right. First and foremost, the chapter details how conservative think tanks used this new way of understanding policy in order to plan, promote, and pass their policy ideas now that Ronald Reagan was in the presidency. Specifically, the chapter contains a detailed case study of Reagan's supply-side economics tax cutting policies. Secondly, this chapter carries forward the story of the Brookings Institution and shows how it maintained its relevancy in an era of conservative ascendency. Finally, this chapter contains a detailed study of the rise of the Heritage Foundation as the premier conservative think tank in the 1980s and shows how the entrenchment of the marketplace of ideas was particularly well used by those at Heritage.

Keywords:   Marketplace of ideas, 1980s, Conservative think tanks, Ronald Reagan, Supply-side economics, Brookings Institution, Conservative ascendance, Heritage Foundation

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