Institute for Policy Studies

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Group.png Institute for Policy Studies  
(Think tankWebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Logo Institute for Policy Studies.png
Founder• Marcus Raskin
• Richard Barnet
HeadquartersWashington DC
Sponsored byCharles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Foundation
Membership• Sarah Anderson
• Ajamu Baraka
• Phyllis Bennis
• John Cavanagh
• Karen Dolan
• Robb K. Burlage
• John Kiriakou
• Saul Landau
• Sanho Tree
• Daphne Wysham
• Maude Barlow
• Norman Birnbaum
• Noam Chomsky
• Steve Cobble
• Chuck Collins
• Barbara Ehrenreich
• Paul Epstein
• Richard Falk
• Bill Fletcher
• Andy Levine
• Jerry Mander
• Jack O'Dell
• Vandana Shiva
• katrina Vanden Heuvel
• Barbara Ehrenreich
• Danny Glover
• Norman Solomon
• Gore Vidal
• Mitchell Rogovin
Progressive US think tank dependent on establishment foundations. Possible gatekeeper.

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is an American progressive[1][2] think tank based in Washington, D.C. It has been directed by John Cavanagh since 1998. It focuses on U.S. foreign policy, domestic policy, human rights, international economics, and national security.

Members of the IPS played key roles in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, in the women's and environmental movements of the 1970s, and in the peace, anti-apartheid, and anti-intervention movements of the 1980s.

Deep politics and funding

IPS was founded in 1963 by Marcus Raskin and Richard Barnet, both aides to deep politicians. Raskin worked for National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and Barnet served in a similar role to Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations John J. McCloy.[3] Start-up funding was secured from the Sears heir, Philip M. Stern, and banker, James Warburg. Most of the money came from a foundation of Samuel Rubin.[4]

Later funding noticeably comes from places like the Rockefeller Foundation and Open Society Foundations.[5]

A 2007 study by Bob Feldman[6] pointed out the strategy behind this kind of funding:

Left media and left think tank staff people generally deny that the acceptance by their organizations of grants from liberal foundations has transformed their organizational priorities, subjected them to elite control, or channeled their energies into safe, legalistic, bureaucratic activities and mild reformism.... there is much evidence that the funded left has moved towards the mainstream as it has increased its dependence on foundations.


Against the backdrop of the counterculture of the 1960s, the opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Institute for Policy Studies "became a brand name for its unabashedly left-wing tone" in contrast with RAND and the largely conservative think tanks.[7] Members of these movements came to IPS headquarters in Washington, D.C..

In a 2009 interview, Raskin said, "Very quickly, with the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the institute became a place where different people from the movements came. People came in from demonstrations" and "camped out in the offices. Early on [the IPS] had predicted that Vietnam would be a disaster." During the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, Raskin was indicted by the federal government for the 1965 publication of "tens of thousands of copies of an IPS anti-war Vietnam Reader"—a kind of textbook for anti-war teach-ins. He was charged with encouraging people to resist the draft.[7][4][8] In 1967, Raskin and IPS Fellow Arthur Waskow penned "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority",[9] a document signed by dozens of scholars and religious leaders which helped to launch the draft resistance movement.

In 1964, several leading African-American activists joined the institute's staff and turned IPS into a base for supporting for the Civil Rights Movement. Fellow Bob Moses organized trainings for field organizers of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the links between civil rights theory and practice, while Ivanhoe Donaldson initiated an assembly of African-American government officials. Port Huron SDS co-writer and civil rights veteran, IPS Fellow Robb Burlage launched the critical health care justice movement in 1967 with his "Burlage Report". Later Burlage founded the Health Policy Advisory Center, which published the initially monthly bulletin, Health/Pac Bulletin, first in 1968 and thereafter semi-annually and eventually quarterly for nearly 3 decades.[10]

The IPS was also at the forefront of the feminist movement. Fellow Charlotte Bunch organized a significant women's liberation conference in 1966 and later launched two feminist periodicals, Quest and Off Our Backs. Rita Mae Brown wrote and published her notable lesbian coming-of-age novel Rubyfruit Jungle while on the staff in the 1970s.

Raskin's 2018 obituary in The Nation said that for him, "ideas were the seedlings for effective action."[11]

IPS also organized congressional seminars and published numerous books that challenged the national security state, including Gar Alperovitz’s Atomic Diplomacy and Barnet's Intervention and Revolution. IPS was the object of repeated FBI and Internal Revenue Service probes.[4] The Nixon administration placed Barnet and Raskin on its Enemies List.[12]


In 1971, Raskin received "a mountain of paper" from a source that was later identified as Daniel Ellsberg. These became known as the Pentagon Papers. Raskin played his "customary catalytic role" by putting Ellsberg in touch with New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan.[citation needed]

In 1974, the institute created an Organizing Committee for the Fifth Estate as part of its Center for National Security Studies which published the magazine CounterSpy until 1984. In the 1980s even the ex-CIA agent and whistleblower, Philip Agee wrote some articles for CounterSpy.

In 1976, agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet assassinated two IPS members of staff on Washington's Embassy Row. The target of the car bomb attack was Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean government minister and ambassador to the United States, one of Pinochet's most outspoken critics and the head of IPS's sister organization, the Transnational Institute (TNI). Ronni Karpen Moffitt, a 25-year-old IPS development associate, was also killed.[citation needed]

The Transnational Institute, an international progressive think tank based in Amsterdam, was originally established as the IPS's international program, although it became independent in 1973.[13]

In its attention to the role of multinational corporations, it was also an early critic of what has come to be called globalization. Richard Barnet's 1974 examination of the power of multinational corporations, Global Reach, was one of the first books on the subject.[citation needed]


In the 1980s, Raskin served as chair of the SANE/Freeze campaign.:4

In the 1980s, IPS became heavily involved in supporting the movement against U.S. intervention in Central America. IPS Director Robert Borosage and other staff helped draft Changing Course: Blueprint for Peace in Central America and the Caribbean, which was used by hundreds of schools, labor unions, churches, and citizen organizations as a challenge to U.S. policy in the region.

In 1985, Fellow Roger Wilkins helped found the Free South Africa Movement,[14] which organized a year-long series of demonstrations that led to the imposition of U.S. sanctions. In 1987, S. Steven Powell published his non-fiction Covert Cadre: Inside the Institute for Policy Studies[15] in which he "providing by far the single most compendious collection of facts about IPS that anyone has yet compiled" according to a lengthy critical review by Joshua Muravchik.[16]

In 1986, after six years of the Reagan administration, Sidney Blumenthal said that "Ironically, as IPS has declined in Washington influence, its stature has grown in conservative demonology. In the Reagan era, the institute has loomed as a right-wing obsession and received most of its publicity by serving as a target."[17]

Conservative think tanks American Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation described the IPS as the "far left" or "radical left" of the late 1980s,[18] the another conservative think tank, who engaged in what the author Joshua Muravchik coined as "communophilism".[19]

The Harvey Klehr, professor of politics and history at Emory University, in his 1988 book Far Left of Center: The American Radical Left Today said that IPS "serves as an intellectual nerve center for the radical movement, ranging from nuclear and anti-intervention issues to support for Marxist insurgencies".[18]


In the early 1990s, IPS began monitoring the environmental impacts of U.S. trade, investment, and drug policies.[20]


Known members

7 of the 28 of the members already have pages here:

Ajamu BarakaUS cultural and political critic. Called Obama "moral disaster" and one of "the worst things that has happened to African-American people".
Noam ChomskyPublicly acclaimed critic of US foreign policy with an encyclopedic knowledge of history, Chomsky has become a gatekeeper by his refusal to contemplate false flag attacks. By 2021 turned proponent of starving dissidents to death in concentration camps.
Richard FalkProfessor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories
John KiriakouThe only CIA officer to go to prison for reasons connected to their torturing of suspects - the first whistleblower.
Mitchell RogovinSpecial counsel to the Central Intelligence Agency in 1975 and 1976.
Vandana ShivaAnti-globalization and anti-GMO activist
Gore Vidal



Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Ford FoundationIn addition to its own billionaire agenda, also known to have been $$$ middleman for covert CIA funding.
Open Society FoundationsA NGO operating in more countries than McDonald's. It has the tendency to support politicians (at times through astroturfing) and activists that get branded as "extreme left" as its founder is billionaire and bane of the pound George Soros. This polarizing perspective causes the abnormal influence of the OSF to go somewhat unanswered.
Rockefeller Brothers FundRockefeller family "philanthropic" fund. One of the CIA's favorite cut-outs during the Cold War.
Rockefeller Foundation
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  4. a b c Howard J. Wiarda; Esther M. Skelley (2006). The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: The Effects of a Divided America. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 102–103. ISBN 0742530388.
  7. a b
  9. "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority".
  12. Barnet and Raskin are listed on the more comprehensive Master list of Nixon political opponents; History of IPS, IPS website
  13. IPS 30th Anniversary Report
  14. FSAM Chronology Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. 359
  17. Sidney Blumenthal, Washington Post, 30 July 1986, Left-Wing Thinkers
  18. a b Klehr, Harvey (1988). Far Left of Center: The American Radical Left Today.

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