This book is an attempt to highlight the meaning of think-tanks and public intellectuals in the world of politics. Think-tanks have been acting as political agents for the last three decades mostly in the background. However, the importance of these think-tanks in the world of politics, especially in disseminating ideas and developing governmental projects, has been rarely discussed. How are these institutions embedded in socio-political projects of our governments? What is the role of the single public intellectual who works for the think-tank? Do they influence or even set governmental agendas on certain issues? Further, to what degree do they influence public opinion?
The author demonstrates the central role of two think-tanks in Great Britain–Demos and the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR)–and their respective public intellectuals in helping define a project for the New Left and the Labour Party in the early 90s. He further demonstrates in depth how both think-tanks became part of Tony Blair’s ambitions for a ‘project’ after his succession to power in ’97, how both repositioned themselves politically along the way, and how both have been playing into the minutiae of politics since then.
In-depth research including 29 interviews with think-tankers and political advisers makes this book a lively insight into the world of think-tanks and the ‘battle of ideas’ in Great Britain after the Cold War. Blank goes back all the way to the analyses of Thatcherism in the Marxism Today circle and the debates of the British Left around alternative projects from New Times to a British Third Way.