No such thing as a free donation? Research funding and conflicts of interest in nuclear weapons policy analysis - Sciences Po Access content directly
Journal Articles International Relations Year : 2022

No such thing as a free donation? Research funding and conflicts of interest in nuclear weapons policy analysis

Abstract

Numerous scholars have in recent years concluded that the field of nuclear weapons policy analysis is plagued by widespread self-censorship, conformism, and enduring disconnects between accepted knowledge and available evidence. It has been hypothesized that this tendency is fostered in part by many analysts’ reliance on funding from donors with interests in the perpetuation of the existing nuclear order. In this article, we probe this hypothesis by investigating the financial links between foreign policy think tanks, on the one hand, and nuclear defence contractors and governments that espouse nuclear deterrence strategies, on the other. Relying on semi-structured interviews and a survey of the funding sources of 45 of the world’s top think tanks, we find, first, that effectively all think tanks in the sample accepted funding from nuclear vested interests and, second, that such ‘stakeholder funding’ has real effects on intellectual freedom. Given the widely-held view that democracy relies on intellectual independence, this finding calls for a serious debate about conflicts of interest in foreign policy analysis generally and nuclear policy analysis specifically.
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Origin : Publication funded by an institution
Licence : CC BY NC - Attribution - NonCommercial

Dates and versions

hal-04017574 , version 1 (07-03-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial

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Kjølv Egeland, Benoît Pelopidas. No such thing as a free donation? Research funding and conflicts of interest in nuclear weapons policy analysis. International Relations, 2022, ⟨10.1177/00471178221140000⟩. ⟨hal-04017574⟩
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