Economic Inequality| Favoring the Elites: Think Tanks and Discourse Coalitions

Nuria Almiron


This article provides an overview of the role think tanks play in shaping public opinion and policies favoring economic and social inequalities. Despite increasing interest in think tanks as media and public opinion setters, the research so far has been mostly policy oriented and the communications perspective underresearched. This article addresses this communication research gap by conducting a literature review on the role played by discourse coalitions of think tanks in three main areas: climate change contrarianism, financial austerity, and speciesism. The article also provides a short overview of the critical theoretical perspectives behind the review and suggests ways for critical communication scholars to contribute. Research conducted to date reveals that conservative and industry-linked think tanks have a greater ability to build network coalitions and have been very successful in global discourse creation processes favoring elites.


think tanks, inequality, discourse coalitions, climate change contrarianism, financial austerity, speciesism

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