Monday, May 30, 2005

A Student Thinktank

A few weeks ago I wrote on the folly of a new liberal thinktank in the works. Well, a few college students have come up with something better.

The Roosevelt Institution is a thinktank network of undergraduates, distributed among some 30 college campuses. Drawing inspiration from both TR and FDR, these students aim to bring their research, fact checking, and organizational skills to bear on national problems. After all, it's the college interns who do much of the real work at places like the Heritage Foundation. This new 'progressive' thinktank taps these resources and brings them in contact with policymakers.

Even if the Roosevelt Institution wanted to be a 'Liberal' thinktank, it couldn't. The country simply won't buy an orthodox wealth redistribution scheme these days, and there is no clear liberal position on the key issue of the global war on terror; this group must become something different from simply the opposite of the Heritage Foundation.

But if this new organization catalyzes the academy's transition into a vibrant interlocutor with policymakers, we're in for an interesting debate. This is a movement to keep your eye on.

Thanks to Philocrites for the tip.

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