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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Information society sets new directions for development of all social, political and economic institutions. An efficiency and further development of any social institution will depend on how readily and professionally it implements new informational and communicative technologies and adopts them to the reality of the modern world. This article is invited to review functions of social and political institution - think tank - in the context of increasing role of Internet and social media expansion. Traditionally think tanks (or analytical centers) are studied by political scientists and experts in international relations as elements of political systems. With think tanks development and spread around the world and also with evolution of their functions there is a need for sociological reflection on place and role of think tanks in the society. The author considers think tanks as a socio-political institution that generates and provides significant information to the authorities and to the society. According to author’s opinion, the key function of think tanks is communication in which the social capacity of think tanks consists as an element of public consciousness development and democratic society promotion. To access the functioning of analytical centers in Russia, the author refers to the results of Global Go To Think Tank Index. In general, Russian think tanks are highly recognized by foreign experts all though having their specific characteristics. The majority of think tanks in Russia are government affiliated or organized on the base of Russian Academy of Science and universities The scope of Russian analytical centers’ research mainly includes issues on foreign policy, international relations and world economy. Sociological analysis of current social processes is presented fragmental in the agenda. Russian think tanks are poorly represented in informational space. Russian think tanks make little use of modern communicative technologies that has an impact on expert community isolation from the society.
think tank, analytical center, social-political institution, mass media, social media, information society
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