Think-tanks' challenge: How to avoid being tools of foreign governments

TOKYO • The Brookings Institution in Washington - perhaps the world's top think-tank - is under scrutiny for receiving six-figure donations from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, which many consider to be a security threat. And since the barbaric murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October, many other Washington-based think-tanks have come under pressure to stop accepting donations from Saudi Arabia.

These recent controversies have given rise to a narrative that Washington-based think-tanks are facing a funding crisis. In fact, traditional think-tanks are confronting three major challenges that have put them in a uniquely difficult situation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2019, with the headline 'Think-tanks' challenge: How to avoid being tools of foreign govts'. Print Edition | Subscribe