Journal Article

Advocay Think Tanks as News Sources and Agenda Setters



As in the other Scandinavian countries, think tanks in Sweden are growing in number, and a few of them also in influence and political importance. However, only some of them have high media visibility. In addition, think tanks represent centres of influence in direct contact with policymakers. Swedish advocacy think tanks mostly depend on economic support from corporations or organized interest groups. They may be influential in strategic politics, but are at the same time a force outside mainstream political institutions. Think tanks are not, like the political parties and their youth organizations, based on membership and time-consuming membership activities. For this reason, they are often quick and efficient in terms of producing political arguments, and are free to take initiatives in different policy areas, but are also without any responsibility for further processes and outcomes. In the long run, the most interesting question is whether this development will stimulate democratic institutions and democratic processes, or whether it will reduce the development of political ideas to a specialized business for small, sponsored elites.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Politik, Vol 19, Issue 1.
  • Pages:
  • Published:
  • Language:

About the Authors

Sigurd Allern

Utbildning: Dr.polit. vid Universitetet i Bergen (1997). Magistergrad i sociologi, Universitetet i Oslo, 1974. Professor i journalistik vid Universitetet i Oslo sedan 2003. Bonnier professor, JMK, Stockholms Universitet, 2008. Gästprofessor Stoc... Read more

Ester Pollack

Ester Pollack, PhD, is a Professor of Journalism Studies in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. Her research combines sociological and historical perspectives on the relations between two of society’s institutions: journalism ... Read more


Allern, S. and Pollack, E. (2016). Advocay Think Tanks as News Sources and Agenda Setters. Politik, 19(1), pp. 61-76.