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Centre for European Research

The Future of British Think Tanks

24 February 2020

Time: 6:30 - 8:00pm
Venue: ArtsOne Lecture Theatre Queen Mary University of London Mile End Road London E1 4NS

This panel, to mark the release of Marcos Gonzalez Hernando’s book ‘British Think Tanks After the 2008 Global Financial Crisis’, focuses on the future of think tanks in Britain in relation to economic policymaking, Brexit, and the future of the relationship between the UK and the EU.

Dr Mario Gonzalez Hernando’s book examines the intellectual and institutional transformations of British think tanks from across the political spectrum in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Particular focus is on how think tanks reacted to a political environment where their advice was increasingly in-demand, yet also more mistrusted. In the context of a crisis on expert authority, the book demonstrates how these organisations modified their modes of public engagement to be seen as authoritative in times of ever increasing antagonistic public debate.

Through careful analysis of interviews, public accounts, and the ‘products’ of think tanks themselves, Marcos Gonzalez Hernando argues that these organisations might become crucial ‘moderators’ situated between the fields of expertise and policy, with a capacity to ‘vet’ what type of knowledge is considered relevant for policy. In the context of current debates on Brexit and ‘post-truth’ politics, the function of think tanks might be more important than ever.


Dr Marcos Gonzalez Hernando, Senior Researcher, FEPS-TASC, Visiting Teaching Fellow, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath

Dr Stella Ladi, Senior Lecturer in Public Management, QMUL (chair)

Dr Patrick Diamond, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, QMUL

Dr Catherine Fieschi, Director, Global Policy Institute, QMUL

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