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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, Foreign Policy, and the Marketplace of Ideas in the 2000s

Think Tanks, Foreign Policy, and the Marketplace of Ideas in the 2000s

(p.174) 5 Think Tanks, Foreign Policy, and the Marketplace of Ideas in the 2000s
Right Moves

Jason Stahl

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on how, after the Cold War and in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the think tank was one of the key institutions involved in pushing a militarized U.S. foreign policy response. In order to delineate this involvement, chapter six looks at two bodies of think tanks. First, it examines neoconservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and their role in promoting and implementing such a vision. Secondly, the chapter examines the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Democratic Leadership Council to show how these institutions, in combination with their more right-wing counterparts, created an elite consensus around a militarized response to 9/11, including an invasion of Iraq. Finally, the 2000s also brought about a new think-tank-related dynamic as the decade was a time when the rejection of empirical expertise seeped into the state itself. With think tanks appointees from the Heritage Foundation leading the way within the administration of George W. Bush, the administration accepted the idea that technocratic policy planning by “experts” was impossible as such a model was inherently biased toward liberalism.

Keywords:   Cold War, September 11, 2001, American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Democratic Leadership Council, Heritage Foundation, George W. Bush

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