On 19th July, LSE IDEAS welcomed the Sino-Euro Think Tank Communication Association (SETTCA) as an additional meeting alongside the Sino-Euro Think Tank Symposium. The meeting looked to discuss how LSE IDEAS, as a top-ranked university-affiliated think tank, operates and influences policymakers. UK-China and US-China relations, as well as the future of international relations in the context of China's rise, were also discussed. The meeting was attended by Professor Michael Cox, Director of LSE IDEAS, Gidon Gautel, Project Coordinator of China Foresight, Vlad Zigarov, Programme Manager for the Central and South-East Europe Programme, and Rob Whittle, Intern at LSE IDEAS.
In 2013, Xi Jinping's call for China to develop more of its own think tanks led to an explosion in the number of Chinese think tanks over the last five years, approximately 60% of them university-affiliated. As a result, SETTCA was interested in hearing LSE IDEAS discuss best practices and how university-affiliated think tanks globally can capitalise on their strengths.
Professor Michael Cox led the meeting. Professor Cox spoke on the history of LSE IDEAS, from its establishment and gradual development to how IDEAS currently contributes towards both public dialogues and policy circles. He emphasised that university-affiliated think tanks possess a certain level of legitimacy stemming from their perceived comparative impartiality. Intellectual and ethical credibility is one of a think tank's most important assets, and this should be safeguarded.