Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Beltway Bandits

I'm struggling a bit to fit this week's readings into the readings and discussion up to this point, in terms of the geographical dimension and the mass media effect as it applies to think tanks. But as I think about the three different frameworks discussed by Del Casino et al for analyzing the spatiality of organizations I'd say it's worth talking about whether the common perception that the think tanks are primarily Washington DC phenomenon is accurate, for all intents and purposes, of whether it's more useful to see them is some larger spatial context defined by their funding sources and their larger (if more diffused) network of influence.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I too struggled a bit with how to frame this week's readings in the larger geography world. This idea of tracking funding sources seems like a vital component, though, of any discussion of an organization who's purpose and goal is to change policy, and as a result, society. Complicating the issue, however, in my eyes the issues are not solely determined by who gives what to whom, rather it is the issue raised in the Nation pieces about the organizational differences between conservative and liberal think tank organizations.

Within this discussion it does appear that as an organization, conservatives are more effective in affecting social change, policy, and opinion. However, I'm curious how much of this is due to their actual internal structure (the geographic component) or simply their internal agreement about their "agenda."