Open seminar at Score: Dieter Plehwe

Welcome to a seminar on Thursday 25 April 2024 with Dieter Plehwe, senior global horizons fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study.

Date: Thursday 25 April 2024
Time: 10.00 – 11.30
Location: Score, Frescativägen 14 A, Stockholm University

Complex organizing across networks. The Neoliberal Atlas Think Tank Network 2000-2022

Recent scholarship has pointed to the role the 500-member strong neoliberal – and social conservative – Atlas network plays across countries in a number of policy areas, notably public health, energy and climate, and indigenous rights. The head of the U.S. based umbrella organization, Brad Lips, and Atlas communication officer Adam Weinberg reject allegations of Atlas network involvement in national political efforts. Atlas claims the members of the network around the world officially referred to as partners – are completely independent, simply committed to free economy and society. If the Atlas network was found to play a role in efforts to influence domestic voting in Australia or New Zealand, for example, the network activities might be found to constitute a violation of election rules. Australia voted on a seat for indigenous people in parliament in 2023 and there is a referendum coming up in New Zealand’s on the treaty of Waitangi’s role in national legislation – two cases of political struggles for and against stronger indigenous rights. Illegal or not, such activities of on domestic elements of the Atlas network would and should rightly be considered foreign interference in domestic affairs. Ahrne and Brunnson’s (2011) work on partial organizations and Sydow’s (2019) work on network governance will be employed in a closer look at the scope and the evolution of the Atlas network. Beyond organizational dimensions of monitoring and sanctioning of partners by an umbrella organization, there are a number of additional ways in which coordination and direction as well as both differentiation and integration across the network has been achieved in the case of the Atlas network. Instead of thinking of the Atlas network as a TeePee tent (or the Sami Goahti) with one top only, we can think of the Atlas network as a circus tent with several tops symbolizing different elements of integration across the 500 or so members Atlas had at the latest count according to the network’s website (in 2022).

Welcome to Score!