In just under a decade, Brazil has seen the number of top-rated think tanks in the country more than triple. Back in 2008, there were just seven organizations included in the University of Pennsylvania’s “Go To Think Tanks Study.” Yet by last year, 23 institutions were featured in the rankings as high-quality institutions, capable of exerting considerable global influence.
Brazil also came in 12th globally in terms of the number of think tanks. The country is home to more than any other in Latin America, claiming over 30 percent more than Mexico, the region’s second highest on the list. According to the study’s lead researcher, Professor James G. McGann, the think tank boom in Brazil might just be taking off, as institutions learn how to communicate better with both with the public and policymakers.
The increase in numbers didn’t surprise McGann, who says that the total of 89 institutions taken into account for the 2016 report has now reached over 90. Though McGann doesn’t adhere to a theory sometimes floated by fellow researchers on the topic – that the number of think tanks is related to the size of the population – he does see indicators elsewhere. “There’s a strong correlation with GDP and higher education, in terms of quality colleges and university, and other factors in terms of civil society,” he told The Brazilian Report.