Marta Reuter.
Marta Reuter.

Academic knowledge and expertise play important roles in policy-making processes today and are often used instrumentally as political tools, employed to lend academic legitimacy to political and/or ideological claims and proposals. While this phenomenon is not new, recent decades have witnessed a significant increase in the number of organizations that seek to influence policy by producing research and using it as leverage in the public debate. Little is known, however, about how such organizations construct, negotiate and organize the relationship between research and advocacy in their activities, which limits our understanding of their political agency.

The aim of the study is to examine the ways in which the relationship between two logics of knowledge production and ideology production is constructed, negotiated and organized within policy institutes or "think tanks", with focus on the intra-organizational actors (individuals) who produce and reproduce these organizationally situated logics, and on the intra-organizational arenas where this is done. The analytical framework of the research is anchored in new institutionalist organizational theory, more specifically in the concepts of institutional work and institutional logics. Empirically, the study will focus on Swedish think tanks, and its empirical aim will be to contribute to our knowledge of this hitherto under-researched type of actor on the Swedish political arena.