In a recently published article David Shambaugh writes of the Central Party School as follows: "In additional to teaching courses in each of these subject areas and conducting their own research, the CPS faculty has long performed the important role as a think tank (zhineng ku 智能库) for the Central Committee and high Party organs." Later on he refers to "the key role played by the CPS as the Party's primary think tank for generating new ideas and policies concerning political and ideological reform." Shambaugh gives much detail on this point in the latter part of the article.
"Training China's Political Elite: The Party School System," The China Quarterly, 197, December 2008, pp. 827-844.