U.S. Advanced Studies Institutes/Think Tanks

The organizations briefly described in this section of the website are among the best known of the thousands of U.S. academic and private institutions that conduct research, hold conferences and publish books and articles on foreign affairs issues. In addition to U.S. nongovernmental advanced studies institutes and think tanks covered in this section, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and institutions of the U.S. military – including the service academies and “war colleges,” especially the National Defense University (NDU) – also carry out significant research and produce valuable publications dealing with international affairs.

American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Founded in 1943, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a not-for-profit institution that promotes research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare. It has an active research, publications and conference program focused on its primary purposes, which it defines as "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism – limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability and open debate."

 


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Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)

The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), an information sharing and advocacy umbrella organization, is comprised of 29 member institutions in the United States, Asia and Europe, all of which carry out research on international issues. Its goal is "to promote excellence in professional, international affairs education worldwide by sharing information and ideas among member schools and with other higher education institutions, the international affairs community and the general public." Many of the most prestigious U.S. graduate schools of international relations are members of APSIA. Its website serves as a clearinghouse of information for prospective students and employers.

 

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Cato Institute

A libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1977, the Cato Institute strives "to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace." According to its website, the institute seeks greater involvement by the "intelligent, concerned lay public in questions of public policy and the role of government." The Cato Institute carries out an active agenda of conferences and undertakes an extensive publications program.


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Center for American Progress

The Center for American Progress is a policy research and advocacy organization that describes itself as a "nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all." Since its founding in 2003, it has sought to develop "progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems" and "challenge conservative thinking that undermines the bedrock American values of liberty, community and shared responsibility." John Podesta, a former senior White House official in the Clinton Administration, was the center’s president and CEO in 2006.


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Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

The Center for Strategic Studies (CSIS) is a foreign policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1962 as part of Georgetown University, today the center has a prestigious Board of Trustees and a large full-time staff. CSIS is a fully independent institution that conducts policy studies and strategic analysis on a wide variety of foreign policy and defense issues. It describes its goal as seeking "to advance global security and prosperity in an era of economic and political transformation by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decision makers." It also has an active outreach program to members of Congress. The Pacific Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii, operates as CSIS’s Asia-Pacific arm.



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Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Founded in New York in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is widely considered America’s most prestigious foreign policy institution and has a membership of about 4,000. CFR describes itself as "dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individual and corporate members, as well as policy makers, journalists, students, and interested citizens in the United States and other countries can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments." CFR carries out a wide range of research, holds conferences, engages in outreach and publishes books, reports and periodicals, including the influential quarterly Foreign Affairs.




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Foreign Affairs Council

Founded and led by Ambassador Thomas Boyatt, the Foreign Affairs Council is an umbrella advocacy and information-sharing body comprised of several major foundations, associations and alumni bodies concerned with the well-being of the Foreign Service and the diplomatic process. Though not technically a research institution, it occasionally produces reports on State Department performance. Included within the Council’s membership are the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD), the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST), the Association of Black American Ambassadors, Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW), the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), the Council of American Ambassadors (CAA), Diplomatic & Consular Officers Retired (DACOR), the Nelson B. Delavan Foundation, the Public Members Association of the Foreign Services and the Una Chapman Cox Foundation.

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Henry L. Stimson Center

The Stimson Center, founded in 1989, s a Washington think tank that prides itself on being a “hands on” think tank that combines pragmatism and idealism in tackling the tough problems of national and international security. Its research has focused on critical international issues such as eliminating weapons of mass destruction, the roles and missions of U.S. Armed Forces and confidence building measures on the Korean peninsula. It carried out a study of Foreign Service.

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Heritage Foundation

A conservative think tank located in Washington, D.C., the Heritage Foundation is an influential research and educational institute whose stated mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.” It prides itself on having had direct impact on the policy. of Republican administrations. It was credited with having been a key architect of the Reagan Doctrine, by which the U,S. Government channeled overt and covert support to anti-Communist resistance movements during the Cold War.

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Hoover Institution

The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University, is a public policy think tank that grew out of a 1919 donation of his “War Collection” to Stanford by Herbert Hoover. The Institution carries out advanced study of politics, economics and political economy – both domestic and foreign – as well as international affairs. If describes itself as drawing on its “world-renowned group of scholars and ongoing programs of policy-oriented research” to put “its accumulated knowledge to work as a prominent contributor to the world marketplace of ideas defining a free society.”

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Hudson Institute

The Hudson Institute is a conservative U.S. think tank founded in 1961 in Hudson, New York, by futurist Herman Kahn, but later relocated to Washington D.C. The Institute states that its mission is to “challenge conventional thinking and help manage strategic transitions to the future through interdisciplinary and collaborative studies in defense, international relations, economics, culture, science, technology, and law.” Citing past “well-timed recommendations to leaders in government and business,” its website in 2006 said, “Today, as part of our research agenda, we are developing programs of political and economic reform to transform the Muslim world.”

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Institute for International Economics (IIE)

Founded in 1981 by economist C. Fred Bergsten, the Institute for International Economics is a private, non-profit research institution that focuses on emerging issues in international economic policy. Through its extensive program of research, publications, conferences and policy recommendations, it attempts to provide timely, objective analyses and proposals for concrete solutions to major international economic problems. In late 2001, the Institute helped create the Center for Global Development to address poverty and development issues in poor countries.

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Institute for Policy Studies

The Institute for Policy Studies is a liberal, multi-issue think tank that was initially closely associated with the civil rights movement. Through study and action it, the Institute says, it “strengthens social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials. Since 1963, we have empowered people to build healthy and democratic societies in communities, the U.S., and the world.”


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Pew Research Center

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press is a nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides polling data on public attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. The Center’s regular national surveys measure major social and political trends, including opinion toward foreign countries and international affairs. Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Center makes all its survey results available to the public free of charge.

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RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation, headquartered in Santa Monica, California, is a global policy think tank with employees across the world. For nearly 60 years, RAND has provided research and analysis for the United States, particularly its armed forces and intelligence services. In more recent years it has expanded its expertise beyond national security to provide services to other governmental and commercial institutions on such areas as business, education, health, law and science.

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The Brookings Institution

Established in 1916, the Brookings Institution is one of the oldest and most respected political research institutions. With a commitment to independent research and innovative policy recommendations, Brookings conducts studies on a wide range of contemporary international as well as domestic issues. It defines its goal as "to provide high-quality analysis and recommendations for decision-makers in the U.S. and abroad on the full range of challenges facing an increasingly interdependent world."


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The Carter Center

The Carter Center was founded by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn in 1982 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Carter Center is not a think tank, but has made its name in the world of international relations as an impartial observer of foreign elections, a mediator of international crises and an advocate for democracy, human rights and health causes across the globe. It describes its goal as "creating a world in which every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to enjoy good health and live in peace." President Carter’s work at the Carter Center won him the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.



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The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

Based in Houston, Texas, and founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is named after former Secretary of State Baker. Its activities include research programs and public outreach focused on vital topical issues such as the war in Iraq, tax policy, the Middle East conflict, energy security and terrorism.

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U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

The USIP is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. . Its mission is to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and democratic transformations, and increase peace-building capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. It seeks to provide a unique combination of nonpartisan research, innovative programs and hands on support of efforts to relieve human suffering, social destabilization and threats to security. It frequently partners with grantees in conflict areas.

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Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars

An autonomous body within the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Woodrow Wilson Center was established in 1968 as a living memorial to President Wilson, who believed that the scholar and the policy maker were “engaged in a common enterprise.” Placing priority on research related to international affairs, it brings prominent scholars from around the world to Washington for extended periods of research and intellectual interchange, and carries out an active program of lectures and seminars. It also publishes The Wilson Quarterly, which contains many articles dealing with international affairs.

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World Resources Institute (WRI)

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is an influential Washington, D.C.-based environmental think tank. It “provides – and helps other institutions provide – objective information and practical proposals for policy and institutional change that will foster environmentally sound, social equitable development.” With a focus on preserving the earth’s ecosystem, WRI gives major attention to climate change issues.

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Worldwatch Institute

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Worldwide Institute is a leader in interdisciplinary research and publications on environmental concerns. It seeks to inform the public, the media and government and business decision-makers about the interactions among key environmental, social and economic trends, in pursuit of an environmentally sustainable and socially just society. The Institute's annual State of the World is an authoritative source of up-to-date environmental information.

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