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No. 2 2008Theme: The think tanks take over


"Right-wing dominance is disturbing"

Per Wirtén is one of the founders of the Arena Group. He is a hard-working debater and one of the organisation's highest-profile contributors.

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"We are starting to grow up"

Timbro concentrates on active opinion-forming. There is a clear project mindset about the organisation. At the same time, MD Maria Rankka likes to emphasise that they sometimes have to dare to feel their way forward and launch ideas that do not always turn out well.

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Civil rights is big business

Politics = pressure groups = lobbyists = money. In Washington, lobbying is a billion-dollar industry. It undermines democracy, say sSome people say it undermines democracy. Other people talk about freedom of expression and the right to exert an influence.

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Financiers want to direct research

Think tanks are expanding and have ever larger budgets, but lobbying and special interests always weigh heavier. So says Andrew Rich, Professor of Political Science at City College of New York and an expert on think tanks.

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Politics is looking for new ways

The dominant think tanks of the Swedish right and Swedish left, Timbro and Arena, regard themselves as independent players. But their agenda is based on issues that business and the trade union movement want to pursue. The think tanks allow other people to speak for them.

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When politicians are not good enough

Politicians and political parties are incapable of thinking innovatively and freely. Instead it is think tanks that push the development of ideas and put forward exciting proposals and reports. But that involves keeping an eye on balance: if someone is too close to power, they risk becoming part of it. If they have too much integrity, they do not get any attention.

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Editor's Column

So where did politics disappear to?

The influence of think tanks on politics is growing. The question is whether this means that the influence of the electorate is diminishing or whether it guarantees ideological renewal

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Zbigniew Brzezinksi interviewed by Jonathan Power

Zbigniew Brzezinski remains at 79 the same feisty, acerbic intellectual he has always been, giving little quarter to his opponents. Admired rather than loved, he was as President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor the antithesis of the careful, more rounded Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance.

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NR 2 2008

Axess Magasin

Är en tidskrift inom området humaniora/samhällsvetenskap och utges av Axess Publishing AB. Tidskriftens målsättning är att fungera som en knutpunkt mellan den akademiska och den publicistiska sfären.


Chefredaktör: PJ Anders Linder
Redaktörer: David Andersson, Mats Wiklund, Jan Söderqvist.
Redaktionssekreterare: Katarina O’Nils Franke
Redaktionsråd: Peter Elmlund, Thomas Gür, Peter Luthersson, Nathan Shachar, Louise Belfrage
Ansvarig utgivare: Peter Elmlund


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