519 Olivier Urrutia The role of Think Tanks in the definition and application of defence policies and strategies ticipates actively in the creation and subsequent development of several think tanks, like the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI, 1979) and the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégiqu e (FRS, 1992). We can also mention here the administrative centre directly related with the Prime Minister, the Commissariat Géné-ral au Plan (1946) transformed into the Centre d’Analyse Stratégique (2006) and today the Commissariat Général à la Stratégie et à la Prospective (2013). In parallel, the Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégiques (IRIS,1991) was born of a private initiative and was the only organisation out of all the French think tanks to offer vocational training in defence, international relations and economic intelligence at post-graduate and master level – qualifications recognised by the state. In 1973, Thierry de Montbrial was given the task by the minister for Foreign Affairs, Michel Jobert, to create the Centre d’analyse et de prévision (CAP) to analyse the system of international relations. Montbrial saw this as being an opportunity to equip France with a private think tank focused on international relations. In 1979, the Institut français des Relations Internationales was created with the institutional support of Prime Minister Raymond Barre and the ministers for Foreign Affairs Louis de Guiringaud and his successor Jean François-Poncet. Now in 2013, the IFRI has the support of more than 100 partner companies and 500 members (individuals and institutions). It employs 80 people, 30 of whom are permanent researchers from several different countries. The IFRI also works frequently with other think tanks, such as Brookings, Rand, The Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie, The Center for International and Strategic Studies and The Japan Institute for International Affairs, among others. From the information presented above, it is clear that think tanks emerge during different periods in different states. And what is also clear is that there are peaks that come about as consequences of political or economic crises and which coincide with action cycles for modernisation, organisational streamlining and administrative activities. Evidently, what the French call the autopoïétique31 structure of these organisations makes them essential, both for political leaders as well as economic stakeholders – and has done from the time of the very first proto think tanks through to today and the modern structures we now see As an indicator, the table below lists think tanks in the USA, Spain and France that deal exclusively with issues of defence and international relations, be they political, university, expert or advocacy think tanks. The result is overwhelming when you look at the sheer number of think tanks in the United States compared with the other two countries, even when taking the demographic difference into account. Obviously, if the simple fact of just having large numbers of think tanks doesn’t actually transla-te into practice the expected efficiency of a think tank culture, without even consi- 31 The word autopoïèse (from Greek auto, meaning self, and poïèse, meaning production, creation) refers to a system capable of reproducing itself in a permanent way and in interaction with its envi-ronment, thus maintaining its organisation despite changes in components.
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