Chelmsford TUC

General Topics, Video Clips, News, Local Events & A Quiz

Think Tanks - A Useful Tool

Trade unionism is not simply negotiating and campaigning for the interests of colleagues in the workplace. It is also about examining what is wrong with society and how it can be improved; other organisations are doing this as well. However, as not everyone shares our interests, it is important that we know what strategies they are promoting. This selection of think tanks reflects a wide perspective of opinions; these we need to analyse so that we can formulate our own views within the democratic structures of our movement.

Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion

"The core research of CASE is divided between five inter-related strands: economic exclusion and income dynamics; social welfare institutions; family change and civil society; community, area polarisation and regeneration; and exclusion and society. Its aim is to understand the dynamic processes at work within its areas of study and to investigate the individual characteristics and social institutions which prevent exclusion, and promote recovery, regeneration and inclusion."


"CentreForum is an independent, liberal think-tank seeking to develop evidence based, long term policy solutions to the problems facing Britain."


Localis is an independent think-tank dedicated to issues related to local government and localism. It carries out innovative research, holds events and facilitates an ever growing network of members to stimulate and challenge the current orthodoxy of the governance of the UK.


"Mutuo conducts research into many types of mutual, publishing documents that expand our understanding of the sector and outline the potential for new mutual organisations in both public and private sectors."

National Centre for Social Research

"The National Centre is the largest independent social research institute in Britain. It conducts social research among members of the public to provide information on a range of social policy issues in Britain. For more than 30 years The National Centre has conducted the design and fieldwork for important, policy informing, UK social surveys including The British Crime Survey, British Election Studies, British Social Attitudes, Family Resources Survey, The Health Survey for England, and many other major quantitative and qualitative surveys."

New Economics Foundation

“The NEF works to construct a new economy centred on people and the environment. Founded in 1986, it is now one of the UK’s most creative and effective independent think tanks, combining research, advocacy, training and practical action."

New Local Government Network

The New Local Government Network (NLGN) was founded in 1996 by a group of senior local government figures whose aim was to make local government more relevant and credible to local people. It is a non-profit making, independent think tank. NLGN seeks to transform public services, revitalise local political leadership and empower local communities. NLGN is also the primary advocate of New Localism.

NLGN works closely with individual local authorities, national agencies, central government and the private sector to promote ideas about how our objectives can be achieved in practice. NLGN has also been a key proponent of directly elected mayors, something reflected in the ongoing work of our Mayoral Forum.

Social Market Foundation

"The Social Market Foundation was launched in March 1989 to provide a rich new source of innovative economic and social policy ideas. Steering an independent course between conflicting ideologies of conservatism and social democracy, the SMF pioneered work in the market-based reform of state healthcare, education and welfare provision. The Foundation continues to advance an agenda of reform based on markets in their social and civic contexts. As Britain’s leading independent think tank, the SMF maintains a flourishing network of links with sister organisations in the EU and US."

SPRU Science and Technology Policy Research

"SPRU is one of the world leaders in policy research on science, technology and innovation (STI) and its wider economic, social and environmental implications. Our mission is to deepen understanding of the place of science, technology and innovation in the global economy for the benefit of government, business and society."

The Adam Smith Institute

"The ASI is Britain’s leading innovator of market economic policies. Since 1977, it has played a key role in the analysis and development of public policies and has published over 300 influential policy reports. It has been part of a worldwide movement towards free markets and free trade. The Institute’s main focus has been introducing choice and competition, in extending the influence of markets, in giving ordinary people the chance to help frame their future by their choices, and in redesigning public services in ways that inject innovation and customer responsiveness into their delivery."

The Bevan Foundation

The Social Justice think tank for Wales. The Bevan Foundation was launched in 2001 to develop fresh thinking about the issues facing people in Wales today. It carries out research, organises conferences, publishes articles and reports. The Foundation’s ideas are influencing public policy and debate in Wales and the UK. Recommendations from its policy papers appeared in the manifestos of all political parties in Wales and featured in the One Wales programme of government for Wales. Its publications and events are regularly reported in the media and debated in the Assembly and Parliament.

The Centre for Policy on Ageing

"The Centre for Policy on Ageing (CPA) is a United Kingdom charity which was originally established in 1947 as the National Corporation for the Care of Old People. It is an independent organisation aiming to formulate and promote social policies which will allow all older people to achieve the full potential of their later years. CPA promotes informed debate about issues affecting older age groups, stimulates awareness of the needs of older people and encourages good practice. CPA has its own list of publications on policy issues and maintains an internationally renowned library and information service on the social, behavioural and health aspects of older age."

The Federal Trust

"The Federal Trust acts as a forum which explores federal solutions to issues of governance at national, continental and global level. Founded in 1945 on the initiative of William Beveridge to study democratic unity amongst states and peoples, it provides a platform to debate often controversial issues. It has made a powerful intellectual contribution to the study of federalism and in particular to Britain’s relationship to the emerging European Union. The Federal Trust remains politically non-partisan, and it has no allegiance to any political party."

The Foreign Policy Centre

“The Foreign Policy Centre is an independent think-tank committed to developing innovative thinking and effective solutions for our increasingly interdependent world. Foreign policy has never been more important in our lives. It governs everything from the jobs we do to the food we eat. We can no longer afford to see it as the work of diplomats alone. The Foreign Policy Centre brings together all of the major actors in foreign policy - companies, charities, pressure groups and all government departments, from the Home Office to the DTI. We aim to broaden perceptions of what foreign policy is, encourage public debate about our foreign policy goals and find new ways to get people involved."

The Institute for Fiscal Studies

"The Institute for Fiscal Studies is a research institute which exists to provide top quality economic analysis independent of government, political party or any other vested interest. IFS exerts substantial influence through publications, the media, close contacts with civil servants and regular meetings with Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet members. Our research looks particularly at the UK tax system, considering the likely effects of fiscal policy on every section of the population."

The National Centre for Social Research

“The National Centre is the largest independent social research institute in Britain. It conducts social research among members of the public to provide information on a range of social policy issues in Britain."

The Regulatory Policy Institute

"The Regulatory Policy Institute (RPI) is an independent research organisation whose object is the promotion of the study for the public benefit of all aspects of regulatory policy (being the regulation of business activity by official or governmental authority). The RPI provides support to, and works with, two principal academic research groups in the UK: the Regulatory Policy Research Centre (RPRC) at Hertford College, University of Oxford, and the European Regulatory Research Institute (ERRI) which is currently being established at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London."