Most people are not familiar with what think tanks do, so it would probably surprise many to learn there are more 11,000 such organizations worldwide. While they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, think tanks typically advise, educate and influence policymakers and the public on governmental policies. The latest edition of an annual report ranks the effectiveness of these organizations, and the Mackinac Center is honored to be identified, once again, as one of the most influential think tanks in the country.
The “Global Go To Think Tank Index Report” was published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. For more than a decade, James McGann, a senior lecturer at UPenn, has led this research, which relies on surveys of policymakers, journalists, scholars and donors to rank the best think tanks across the world.
The Mackinac Center ranked 83rd of more than 2,200 think tanks in the United States, which puts it in the top 4% nationally. The Center is also one of the highest ranked state-focused think tanks. Of the 29 Michigan-based think tanks reviewed for the report, the Center had the second-highest rank (right behind our friends at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids).
The report analyzed think tanks of all kinds, including university-based ones, those directly affiliated with government, ones sponsored by businesses, those with ties to political parties, and, of course, private and independent ones like the Mackinac Center. These think tanks were ranked based on the responses of nearly 4,000 think tank executives, scholars, policymakers and journalists.
The Center’s high ranking is evidence of our effectiveness at influencing public policy here in Michigan. It means our recommendations and advice are well-known and well-regarded in Lansing. It means journalists take our research and point of view into consideration. It means the public can rely on the Center’s research to become better informed about public policy issues.
Of course, most importantly, the Center’s lofty status among think tanks means that a voice dedicated to defending free markets, limited government and the rule of law is being heard loud and clear in Michigan. That’s a primary reason why our thousands of donors choose to support our work, and we couldn’t be prouder to see that effort recognized and ranked among the nation’s finest public policy organizations.