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What do Think Tanks do? Chatham House in search of the United States

Cox, Michael (2022) What do Think Tanks do? Chatham House in search of the United States. International Politics, 59 (2). 206 - 226. ISSN 1384-5748

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Identification Number: 10.1057/s41311-021-00295-3


Created in 1920, the London-based ‘British Institute of International Affairs’ (in 1926 renamed the Royal Institute of International Affairs) has for a century been at the forefront of an ongoing ‘Anglo-American’ conversation about world politics. Yet even though the Institute was regarded from the outset as the institutional expression of a very ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the United States, it did very little independent research of its own on US foreign policy. This however began to change in the 1990s when the United States appeared to have become a ‘superpower without a mission’. It then took on a more organized form following the attack of 9/11. At this critical juncture Chatham House decided to establish a new Study Group—the ‘United States Discussion Group’ (USDG)—which went on to discuss US foreign policy in depth. What this article sets out to do is outline the origins of the USDG, the main contours of what was discussed within the Group, the degree to which these discussions were different to those then underway within the US itself, and finally assess the contribution it made in helping encourage further debate on the United States within Britain’s foremost foreign policy Think Tank.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2022 12:15
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 02:15

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