Members of the Advisory Council on International Affairs

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Members of the Advisory Council on International Affairs

Finally, ong>theong>re are ong>theong> Politische Stiftungen. These are typically German institutions, and performa broader role than ong>theong> research institutes operating under ong>theong> aegis ong>ofong> ong>theong> Dutchpolitical parties. Most ong>ofong> ong>theong>m have a staff running into hundreds ong>ofong> people; togeong>theong>r, ong>theong>yhave an aggregate budget (which is allocated by ong>theong> central government) ong>ofong> approximatelyDEM 200 million. Although ong>theong>y are formally independent, ong>theong>ir recommendations generallytend to be in fairly close keeping with ong>theong> philosophy espoused by ong>theong> political party withwhich ong>theong>y are associated:– Friedrich Ebert Stiftung: SPD;– Konrad Adenauer Stiftung: CDU;– Heinrich Böll Stiftung: Greens;– Friedrich Naumann Stiftung: FDP;– Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung: PDS.It should be stressed that ong>theong>se ‘stiftungen’ have only limited expertise in defence issuesin a strict sense, and that relatively little practical use is made ong>ofong> ong>theong>ir research capacity inthis particular area. They tend to play a more prominent role in analysing security policy.2.4 United Kingdom2.4.1 Parliamentary committeeWhen parliament decides to examine ong>theong> government’s policy on defence issues (e.g. ong>theong>Strategic Defence Review, policy on Kosovo and policy on weapons ong>ofong> mass destruction),this is generally done by ong>theong> relevant House Select Committee, in which all parties are representedin proportion to ong>theong>ir status in ong>theong> House ong>ofong> Commons. These Select Committeeshave far-reaching powers to take written or oral evidence from experts both from within government(e.g. civil servants and military personnel) and from outside (e.g. external expertsand academics). The Defence Select Committee ong>ofong> ong>theong> House ong>ofong> Commons is ong>theong> parliamentarycommittee that is concerned specifically with defence policy.2.4.2 Research bureauAlthough ong>theong> British parliament does not have a research bureau ong>ofong> its own, it does have avery extensive library that is staffed by expert librarians (comparable with ong>theong> Library ong>ofong>Congress in ong>theong> US). This library has a total staff ong>ofong> about 200 and a special InternationalAffairs and Defence Section (IADS) with five researchers and eight supporting staff.Although only ong>theong> equivalent ong>ofong> 1.5 full-time staff actually specialise in defence in ong>theong> strictsense, extra manpower may be drafted in as and when ong>theong> need arises, as in ong>theong> case ong>ofong>ong>theong> crisis in Kosovo, when four ong>ofong> ong>theong> five researchers were working more or less constantlyon Kosovo. The library’s research departments are predominantly demand-driven. At ong>theong>same time, existing documentation is regularly updated and researchers also seek toanticipate future developments (for example, ong>theong>y are currently preparing a report on NMD).The library has a total spending budget ong>ofong> GBP 8 million per annum. Although ong>theong> librarydoes not make clear exactly how much ong>ofong> this is spent on research into security issues, itis possible to make a rough estimate ong>ofong> ong>theong> amount in question by working on ong>theong> assumptionthat ‘1.5’ people out ong>ofong> a total staff ong>ofong> 200 are employed full-time on defenceresearch.MPs ong>ofong>ten cite ong>theong> library as a source in statements and questions, and its staff areregarded as being authoritative in terms ong>ofong> ong>theong>ir knowledge and expertise.7

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