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Foreign Policy, a magazine, now runs “Democracy Lab”, a website paid for by the Legatum Institute, a think-tank based in London. It has a modest budget for freelancers. In June the Centre for Policy Studies, a think-tank co-founded by Margaret Thatcher, launched “CapX”, which publishes daily news and comment on its website and by e-mail. The Centre for European Reform, a think-tank founded by Charles Grant (formerly of The Economist), publishes pieces with gripping headlines such as: “Twelve things everyone should know about the European Court of Justice”.

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What lessons could the Prussian General Staff offer Indian think tank managers in the 21st century? First, that small is better. The relatively tiny size of the Staff did not detract from its respectability, once it demonstrated that it possessed expertise which no field commander had, and none could do without. […] Second, that multidisciplinary research is the key to innovation. Even as the Staff acquired in-depth expertise, it broadened its mandate to include topics that went beyond the purely military. […] The General Staff was in effect, a small but multidisciplinary think tank. […] Third, the experience of the Prussian General Staff suggests that policy advisors do their best work out of the public glare. Unlike most think tanks today, which measure policy impact based on webpage hits and media quotes, a genuinely influential research center will prepare reports for an elite audience of policymakers, not a rabble of curious onlookers. […] Lastly, the case of the Prussian General Staff goes to prove that mindset changes do not occur randomly, they are triggered by powerful reform movements that are personality-driven. Prussia was motivated to set up a professional Staff system due to the shock of its 1806 defeat and the strategic vision of high-ranking generals like Scharnhorst.

Dr Prem Mahadevan in March 2011 writing for the Vivekananda Foundation on how Indian Think-Tanks could learn from the Prussian General Staff

What lessons could the Prussian General Staff offer Indian think tank managers in the 21st century? First, that small is better. The relatively tiny size of the Staff did not detract from its respectability, once it demonstrated that it possessed expertise which no field commander had, and none could do without. […] Second, that multidisciplinary research is the key to innovation. Even as the Staff acquired in-depth expertise, it broadened its mandate to include topics that went beyond the purely military. […] The General Staff was in effect, a small but multidisciplinary think tank. […] Third, the experience of the Prussian General Staff suggests that policy advisors do their best work out of the public glare. Unlike most think tanks today, which measure policy impact based on webpage hits and media quotes, a genuinely influential research center will prepare reports for an elite audience of policymakers, not a rabble of curious onlookers. […] Lastly, the case of the Prussian General Staff goes to prove that mindset changes do not occur randomly, they are triggered by powerful reform movements that are personality-driven. Prussia was motivated to set up a professional Staff system due to the shock of its 1806 defeat and the strategic vision of high-ranking generals like Scharnhorst.

Dr Prem Mahadevan in March 2011 writing for the Vivekananda Foundation on how Indian Think-Tanks could learn from the Prussian General Staff

Indian think tanks find it virtually impossible to access relevant data. As K. Subrahmanyam, a founding member of IDSA once noted, tight control over information allows career bureaucrats to remain central to policymaking. 10It also provides a screen for occasional acts of incompetence. Even if elected officials were inclined to seek advice from non-governmental experts, the lack of data facing such experts would ensure that they could not provide timely inputs to compete with the bureaucracy. All that academics and other professional researchers are intellectually equipped to do in this situation is re-frame the discourse around a given topic, in ways that might serve long-term policy objectives. […]
At the moment, much of the strategic analysis conducted by think tanks is based on material pulled off the internet. It is a safe bet that 90% of India’s 292 think tanks would have to shut down if their internet connections were cut off for six months.