"The Sixth Branch: Think Tanks as Auditors"
In the field of nuclear weapons policy there are a number of organizations that perform what I am going to call an audit function in regard to government policy. These organizations are hybrids, operating partly as think tanks and partly as advocacy NGOs. I have in mind in particular the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). UCS, FAS and NRDC are all multi-issue organizations, seeking a voice on a range of issues from the safety of genetically modified food and the dangers of global warming to debt-for-land swaps in the Third World, but it is their work on nuclear weapons policy that interests me here. None of the better known think tanks (the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, or the Cato Institute, for example) employ analysts who do the kind of nuclear weapons policy work described here – or indeed any kind of nuclear weapons policy analysis...
Published: Social Science Research Council, March 2009
Citation: Gusterson, Hugh, "The Sixth Branch: Think Tanks as Auditors"
(New York: Social Science Research Council, March 2009).