عنوان مقاله [English]
While the term think tank originated in the 1950s, such organizations date back to the 19th century. The Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) was founded in 1831 in London and the Fabian Society in Britain dates from 1884. The Brooking Institution began in Washington in 1916. For most of the 20th century, independent public policy think tanks that performed research and provided advice on public policy were an organizational phenomenon found primarily in the United States, with a much smaller number in Canada and Western Europe. Although think tanks have existed in Japan for some time, they generally lack independence, having close ties to government ministries or corporations. There has been a veritable proliferation of think tanks around the world, beginning in the 1980s, as a result of the force of globalization, the end of the Cold War and the emergence of transnational problems. Two-thirds of all think tanks that exist today were established after 1970 and over half were established since 1980. The impact of globalization on think tank movements is most evident in regions such as Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and parts of Southeast Asia, where there is a concerted effort by the international community to support the creation of independent public policy research organizations. Today, there are over 4500 of these institutions around the world. Think tanks vary by ideological perspective, source of funding, issue focus and prospective audience. A new trend resulting from globalization is collaboration between think tanks across continents. For instance, the Carnegie endowment for international peace operates offices in Washington D.C., Beijing, Beirut, Brussels and Moscow. The activities of think tanks involve a balance between research, analysis and outreach. The range of activities they engage in include: framing policy issues, researching and writing books, articles, policy briefs, and conducting evaluation of government programs, creating networks and exchanges via workshops, seminars and briefings. This research focuses on the position of think tanks in different areas of policy making in twenty countries. The statistics, information, organization, type of activity, affiliation, objectives, and the national and international places of think tanks in these countries, have been identified. Moreover, the think tanks of the following countries have been analyzed in more detail: Russia, South Korea, Germany, France, USA, Canada, UK and Japan. Then, the existing non-governmental think tanks of Iran have been studied and evaluated. On this basis, a new model is proposed for an appropriate development of Irans think tanks, in order to improve decision-making processes in different areas of the country. The findings of this research indicate that decision-making and policy-making are mainly undertaken by think tanks, particularly in developed countries. Finally, our studies show that the think tanks of Iran are still at the early stages of development and have not yet established their correct and appropriate role, although they are staffed by efficient and skilled manpower. This issue calls for more funding and persuasion on the part of statesmen.