Why and how do think tanks expand their networks in times of crisis? The case of Bruegel and the Centre for European Policy Studies

Ramona Coman

Journal of European Public Policy. Jan 2018 [Link]


The eurozone crisis has spectacularly increased the European Union’s (EU’s) institutional demand for expert knowledge. While the crisis has challenged the legitimacy of the EU in many ways, it has in contrast amplified the visibility and the role of Brussels-based think tanks as laboratories of ideas that think ahead about eurozone governance and policies. Drawing on the analysis of more than 450 expert reports produced by two leading Brusselsbased think tanks, over 300 CVs and biographical notes as well interviews, this article explores when, how and why Brussels-based think tanks expand their networks in times of crisis. While the article leaves aside the question of their ideational impact upon agenda-setting and the policy formulation process leading to the new European economic governance, it shows how think tanks adapt to crises and how they seek to have a voice in thinking about the future of the EU’s economic governance.

This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.