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Olin Library: Political Science: Policy Institutes

Policy Institutes

Commonly referred to as think tanks, policy institutes are organizations, usually non-profit and therefore tax-exempt, that conduct research and engage in advocacy on issues relating to politics, social, economic, business, and industrial policy, science and technology, and military/diplomatic issues. A number are fairly neutral actors in advocating policy directions. Others are tied to specific ideological orientations and serve as public relations fronts for the groups that sponsor them. Such think tanks have been criticized for generating essentially self-serving scholarship.



Center for American Progress

"The Center for American Progress is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action. We combine bold policy ideas with a modern communications platform to help shape the national debate, expose the hollowness of conservative governing philosophy, and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter."

Center for Economic and Policy Research

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

Center for Public Integrity

"The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world."

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is one of the nation’s premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.

Economic Policy Institute

Founded in 1986 by a group of economic policy experts, the Economic Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy.

Institute for Policy Studies

As Washington’s first progressive multi-issue “think tank,” IPS has served as a policy and research resource for visionary social justice movements for four decades: from the anti-war and civil rights movements in the 1960’s to the peace and global justice movements of the last decade.

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

"The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation's premier research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses exclusively on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color."


Cato Institute

"The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace." Its ideology is libertarian.

Center for Strategic and International Studies

"The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a public policy research institution dedicated to policy analysis and impact. CSIS is the only institution of its kind that maintains resident experts on all the world's major geographical regions. It also covers key functional areas, such as international finance, the emerging markets, U.S. domestic and economic policy related to the Strengthening of America, and U.S. foreign policy and national security issues."

Family Research Council

"Family Research Council (FRC) was founded in 1983 as an organization dedicated to the promotion of marriage and family and the sanctity of human life in national policy."

Heritage Foundation

"The Heritage Foundation was established in 1973 as a nonpartisan, tax-exempt policy research institute dedicated to the principles of free competitive enterprise, limited government, individual liberty and a strong national defense."

Hoover Institution

"The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, founded in 1919, is a center for advanced study in domestic and international affairs."

Hudson Institute

"Hudson Institute is a private, not-for-profit research organization founded in 1961. Hudson analyzes and makes recommendations about public policy for business and government executives and for the public at large. More than thirty years of work on the most important issues of the day has allowed Hudson to forge a viewpoint that embodies skepticism about the conventional wisdom, optimism about solving problems, a commitment to free institutions and individual responsibility, an appreciation of the crucial role of technology in achieving progress, and an abiding respect for the importance of values, culture, and religion in human affairs."

Manhattan Institute

"The Manhattan Institute is a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual reponsibility."

National Center for Policy Analysis

"The National Center for Policy Analysis is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt public policy research institute which supports free enterprise, low taxes, limited government and a strong national defense."