The last 12 months have been marked by global instability. The debate over austerity has consumed Britain, the rest of Europe, the United States and Japan—are cuts or spending the route to recovery? And how do elected politicians persuade voters to back painful changes? Can democracy cope with austerity?
Last summer, Britain saw the worst riots since the 1980s. The euro crisis has threatened to plunge Europe into a lost decade, while the effects of the Arab Spring are still unclear.
Think tanks, then, have had no shortage of subjects. The Prospect Think Tank of the Year Awards, now in their 12th year, set out to give credit to those who have led the policy debate among the public and government. The judges look for originality and