The demand for ‘critical research’ in a competitive authoritarian regime: think tanks in Mozambique
Think tanks in competitive authoritarian regimes are implicitly if not explicitly oppositional, producing and disseminating research critical of government policies and elite behaviour. Existing literature asks how and why such think tanks emerge and survive, and if they exercise real influence. This paper asks if anyone actually reads their critical research. Focusing on two cases in Mozambique - the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos (IESE) and the Centro de Integridade Pública (CIP) - three original data sets are examined: (1) citations in the bibliographies of end-of-programme theses of undergraduates in the political science, public administration, economics, and/or sociology departments of two of Mozambique's most important universities; (2) websites and Facebook activities - visits, downloads, etc.; and (3) citations in academic journals that publish on Africa. Findings show evolving demand for these think tanks' research, suggesting their growing status within Mozambique and, by implication, within civil societies of similar competitive authoritarian regimes.