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The Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at the George Washington University is the nation's leading center for communitarian policy research and is a research institute dedicated to finding constructive solutions to social problems through morally informed policy analysis and moral dialogue.

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Two Islams Are Better Than One

The Paris attacks reignited the debate over the relationship between Islam and violence. On the one hand, the Obama Administration stresses that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Secretary of State John Kerry recently said that "the biggest error we could make would be to blame Muslims for crimes...that their faith utterly rejects" and thus "fuel the very fires that we want to put out." Kerry is echoing statements by President Obama (and Bush before him) that Islam is a religion of peace. And former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar opined that such terrorists are "thugs disguising themselves as Muslims" who "act against the very religion they claim to believe in."

Assessing -- Threat Assessments

The United States' military is reported to greatly exaggerate the threat posed by China's and Russia's navies according to a prize-winning column in the Washington Post by Walter Pincus. Others have written about this bias, but Pincus documents it very effectively and above all succinctly.

Pincus starts by summarizing a recent presentation by Sean Stackley, the Navy's assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, who "reflects thinking in the Navy and other services." Stackley is quoted as stating that "Our superiority at sea demands that we maintain superiority in technology, science, engineering." He sees an "impressive" investment in naval capabilities by China, including in a "new aircraft carrier, nuclear submarines, their fifth-generation fighter, amphibious capabilities, unmanned aircraft and anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles."

Is the United States a ‘Dangerous’ Ally?

Some American strategists have of late expressed the concern that the United States’ growing military ties with various nations in East and Southeast Asia give these nations a finger on the American trigger. That is, actions these nations may take on their own could involve the United States in a war with North Korea, Russia or China. This issue has been particularly raised with regard to Japan because the U.S. has declared that it views the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands as if they were parts of Japan – which the United States is committed by treaty to defend.

Start With 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'

In response to the Paris massacres, as we reach out to the Muslim world, we should not focus on the value of freedom of expression but on that of life. There are both principled and prudential reasons for starting with "thou shalt not kill." Americans tend to speak about human rights as if they were all created equal, indeed are one bundle. Actually, we pay much more mind to legal and civil rights than to socio-economic rights, which some democracies -- and the UN Declaration of Human Rights -- hold dear.

Corporations Undermine Cybersecurity

At first, it may seem obvious that the private sector should be keen to protect its computers from cyber-attacks. After all, hacking has caused considerable losses of trade secrets and other proprietary information. Actually, the private sector is opposing most new cybersecurity measures. Despite major implications of this opposition for homeland security, little has been done to make corporations defend their customers and the nation.

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Two Islams Are Better Than One

January 28, 2015

The Paris attacks reignited the debate over the relationship between Islam and violence. On the one hand, the Obama Administration stresses that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Secretary of State John Kerry recently said that "the biggest error we could make would be to blame Muslims for crimes...that their faith utterly rejects" and thus "fuel the very fires that we want to put out." Kerry is echoing statements by President Obama (and Bush before him) that Islam is a religion of peace. And former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar opined that such terrorists are "thugs disguising themselves as Muslims" who "act against the very religion they claim to believe in."

Assessing -- Threat Assessments

January 21, 2015

The United States' military is reported to greatly exaggerate the threat posed by China's and Russia's navies according to a prize-winning column in the Washington Post by Walter Pincus. Others have written about this bias, but Pincus documents it very effectively and above all succinctly.

Pincus starts by summarizing a recent presentation by Sean Stackley, the Navy's assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, who "reflects thinking in the Navy and other services." Stackley is quoted as stating that "Our superiority at sea demands that we maintain superiority in technology, science, engineering." He sees an "impressive" investment in naval capabilities by China, including in a "new aircraft carrier, nuclear submarines, their fifth-generation fighter, amphibious capabilities, unmanned aircraft and anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles."