Interpretive Approaches to the EU
Edited by Hubert Heinelt and Sybille Münch
Chapter 19: Think tanks in EU public policies
Think tanks, which concern themselves with EU affairs, have developed in tandem with European integration over three ‘waves’. An interpretive approach is applied to reconstruct the self-perception and intentions of some of those active in think tanks in the EU. Although notions of value-free policy analysis and advice, a trademark of technocratic reasoning, feature prominently among EU think tanks, the chapter reveals different understandings of the ways in which public knowledge should be legitimated in the EU. The most recent wave of think tanks has contributed towards opening up the ways in which knowledge can be made authoritative in the EU, for example, by interacting directly with citizens in the member states or by calling into question Brussels as the geopolitical center of the EU.
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