Single minded? The intellectual networks and structure of the British right wing think tank community 2015 – 2022

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The existing literature on British right wing think-tanks focusses on a subset of think tanks who served a specific policy campaign or ideological project (e.g. the ‘Cameronites’, the Tufton Street Brexiteers). Think tanks are viewed as hubs for elites from across professions who share common ideological, epistemic, and policy positions; and who aim to institutionalise these ideas within the Conservative party and in legislation. In focussing on specific ‘thought collectives’ little is known about intellectual life within the wider community of think tanks, or how these collectives interact with one another. In response, this paper provides a novel community-wide study of the structure of British right wing think tanks to answer two core questions: how cohesive is this community? Do the wider tensions over ‘true conservatism’ manifest within the interactions of right wing think tanks? Using data derived from bibliometrics and speakers invited to think tank events, this paper: (1) maps and measures intellectual networks; (2) ascertains community cohesiveness, and (3) uncovers intellectual authorities shared across the community and within specific cliques of think tanks. This will build knowledge of how new collectives arise and integrate (e.g. Trussites), and how right wing think tanks respond to changes in Number 10.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2023
EventConservatisms: The UK Conservative Party and 'True' Conservatism - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh , UK United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jan 202313 Jan 2023


ConferenceConservatisms: The UK Conservative Party and 'True' Conservatism
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


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