The Role of Think Tanks in Free Societies - Round Table Discussion

Since the middle of the last century, think tanks have come to play an influential role in the lives of democratic states, while the number of such bodies has grown rapidly.

Increasingly, these have be seen as sources for ideas shaping the environment in which public policy is formulated, and to influence the prevailing direction of political change.

Following the collapse of communism, think tanks were quickly established in Central and Eastern Europe where they are rightly regarded as an important element in the development of civil society. Such bodies may differ from longer established think tanks in the Anglo-Saxon world in a number of respects, however, and, in some instances have yet to achieve their full potential.

On 15th October 2015, the Danube Institute, in conjunction with the Századvég Foundation, held a roundtable discussion on the role and influence of think tanks, and on the conditions necessary for them to achieve success. Discussion also focused on strategies and techniques.

Participants came from think tanks based in Hungary on both sides of the political spectrum.

Keynote speeches were given by the heads of two highly successful think tanks from the UK, Tim Knox of the Centre for Policy Studies, and Dr Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute. The occasion was chaired by Dr Orsolya Pacsay-Tomassich, International Director of Századvég.