The globalization of markets and corporate activities opens up new possibilities as well as new risks for citizens as well as for states. The organizational structures and forms of influence and governance that exist face huge challenges pertaining to the social effects of the global economy. In this process, think tanks, or policy institutes, have assumed a greater role as arenas for analysis and diffusion of ideas and knowledge. Think tanks often play a prominent role in analysing the current financial and social situation in the world and to create scenarios for possible future development trajectories. Such representations often play a role in political debates and in decision-making processes in corporations and in global, multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They also often influence the allocation of financial resources, agenda setting, and the definition of priorities.

The project focuses on the role of think tanks in producing knowledge and ideas about, and representations of, future markets. Some research questions are: How is knowledge produced in think tanks? How are ideas and knowledge diffused to other, relevant actors? How can think tanks influence political processes and decision making through their activities? Fieldwork is being undertaken in Washington DC, in Paris, and in Stockholm.

The project, which is led by Christina Garsten, is part of the research programme Organizing to create and shape markets, coordinated by Nils Brunsson (Stockholm School of Economics/Uppsala University). Christina Garsten, Göran Sundström and Nils Brunsson constitute the management team for this research programme. The research programme is financed the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond), and is located at Score.