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It all began at a high-powered State Department meeting full of generals and defense industry executives in 1961, at the height of the Cold War. When one official declared “If this group cannot bring about disarmament, then no one can,” two young men in the audience couldn’t help but snicker. The culprits, White House staffer Marcus Raskin and State Department lawyer Richard Barnet, looked across the room and decided to get to know each other.
Within two years, Raskin and Barnet had left the Kennedy Administration and founded the Institute for Policy Studies, where they could more freely “speak truth to power.” Over more than five decades, IPS public scholars have used their independence — from government, from corporate money and from the silos of academia — to combine fresh, bold ideas with effective action. They have provided critical support for the major social movements of our time by producing seminal books, films and articles; educating key policy makers and the general public; and crafting practical strategies in support of peace, justice and the environment.
IPS is a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence and military power.