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CIA Director Mike Pompeo, right, answers question while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, April 13, 2017 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Think Tanks Step Up in a Polarized Washington Where Government Trust Is Eroding

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

Based on public polling, voter trends and the continued appeal of populist outsiders from Washington to Warsaw, it’s abundantly clear that there’s an erosion of competence and confidence in governments. It’s a global phenomenon, and U.S. President Donald Trump is a symptom, not the cause, of the slow, steady decline in the capacity of formal public institutions to make wise policies and implement them.

In this age of uncertainty, however, civil society organizations have proven more able and willing to fill some of the gaps. While it is true that they lack the legitimacy of elected officials, and cannot actually make policy or represent citizens and their demands legally, these organizations have become more important players in articulating policy needs, partnering with governments to execute many programs, and, recently, trying to offer some models of cooperative behavior across the cavernous political divide. ...

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