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…

Publication Details

“The Sixth Branch: Think Tanks as Auditors”
Gusterson, Hugh
Social Science Research Council
Publish Date
March 2009
Gusterson, Hugh, "The Sixth Branch: Think Tanks as Auditors" (Social Science Research Council, March 2009).