However, after the results, the journal’s editors said they are not convinced that all the intellectuals belong on top.
In their introduction in the July/August issue, the editors wrote: “Rankings are an inherently dangerous business,” as some candidates ran publicity campaigns on their web sites, in interviews or in reports in media friendly to them.
“No one spread the word as effectively as the man who tops the list,” the introduction said.
“In early May, the Top 100 list was mentioned on the front page of Zaman, a Turkish daily newspaper closely aligned with Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Within hours, votes in his favor began to pour in,” the introduction added.
“His supporters—typically educated, upwardly mobile Muslims—were eager to cast ballots,” the journal noted.
Foreign Policy had chosen the 100 candidates, noting that they “were included on our initial list of 100 in large part because of the influence of their ideas."
Foreign Policy also conceded that "part of being a public intellectual is also having a talent for communicating with a wide and diverse public. This skill is certainly an asset for some who find themselves in the list's top ranks."