The winner of Prospect‘s coveted think tank of the year award will be revealed at an awards ceremony tomorrow evening; full details are to be posted on this blog shortly after.
We received a record number of entries this year—which should come as little surprise. Since the prize was started 10 years ago, the power and influence of wonk shops has grown exponentially. Many have become part of our “unwritten constitution,” claims one this year’s judges, Ben Rogers, an associate fellow of Demos and the Institute for Public Policy Research. “Just think of the role that the Institute for Government and the Constitution Unit played in preparing the ground for a hung parliament and enabling the creation of a coalition government.”
Indeed, many of the personnel manning such institutions seem to have a revolving door in and out of government—just take the appointment of Richard Reeves, former head of Demos, as special adviser to Nick Clegg; not to mention one-time Centre for Social Justice boss Philippa Stroud, who now finds herself advising Iain Duncan Smith.
While also wielding growing power behind the scenes, British tanks have increasingly been dominating the headlines, too: think of the controversy the Institute for Fiscal studies provoked in October when it challenged the government’s calculations on the cuts.
All of this makes Prospect‘s awards—the only awards to recognise the important role played by think tanks—more relevant than ever.
Click here for full details of the awards which, in addition to traditional categories, include prizes for “A Best Small Think” and “One to Watch.”
The 2010 Prospect Think Tank of the Year Awards are supported by Shell