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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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Our Latest Research and Writing

Limiting What Political Donors Can Get, Not Give

Redefining bribery would go a long way toward preventing campaign contributions from corrupting our political system. This could be achieved by limiting what contributors can gain in exchange for their donations rather than by adding or restoring limitations on the amounts they can donate. In this way, the suggested reform would avoid falling afoul of Supreme Court rulings that treat donations as a form of speech and hence deem most limitations on donations to be unconstitutional.

The Darker Side of the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

The American media is gushing about improvements to the United States-India relationship in the wake of President Barack Obama’s January visit to India. Among the achievements stemming from the visit is what the media had called a “breakthrough” that paved the way for implementing the two nations’ civilian nuclear cooperation deal. However, examining the reasons why this deal was first struck, its components, and its side effects suggests that it is a cause more for concern than for celebration.

Obama's Timid Budget

We hear a great deal from luminaries who delight in (or are stressed out by) the “liberated” Obama, who is said to have found his mojo, and begun to take on inequality. A closer look reveals that, even if all the policies and changes in the tax code the President called for in the just-released budget were implemented completely, they would barely dent inequality. Moreover, the gap between his overblown rhetoric and his weak proposals is likely to add to the cynicism of the American people.   

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."

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