World Policy’s oldest predecessor, The Association for Education in World Government was founded in the aftermath of World War II with the aim of educating the public on the world outside their everyday lives and promoting a world view that emphasized the connectedness of the global system.
University and Secondary School Programs
Realizing that there were few college or universities courses dealing with issues relating to international peace and conflict resolution, the World Law Fund (previously the Fund for Education) launched its University Program and began developing materials to serve as a foundation for this new field of study. This led to the establishment of the Secondary School Program and a series of seminars co-sponsored with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The Hat, a film by Faith and John Hubley and featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Dudley Moore is released
The Fund recognized early on the impact that arts and media could have in reaching broader audiences. One of the more daring initiatives of the Fund was its collaboration with renowned animators, Faith and John Hubley, in the production of The Hat.
Modeling a Changing World
Envisioned as both an academic and social movement, the World Order Model Project was founded with the goal of promoting values that could be accepted as goals for “models for a preferred world,” based on peace, social justice, economic well-being, ecological balance, and political participation”
Eight research teams, including teams from India, China, Africa, and Europe, meet in New Delhi to formulate regionally specific models of global stability. Additionally, WOMP established three task forces on issues of global concern: Security, Disarmament and Human Rights; Science and Technology; and Global Culture.
Leadership Seminars & Community Actions Programs Launched
Under the auspices of the newly renamed Institute for World Order (IWO), the Leadership Seminars were founded to orient business leaders with values aligned to global responsibility and world peace.
The second pilot program launched by the Institute in 1974 was the Community Action Program. By hiring field representatives to work with local chapters of citizens’ groups, the program aimed to “connect people’s local concerns and needs to global problems, thereby showing them how world order issues touch them and (how) they can influence system change.”
Promoting public education, fighting hunger, and working to end the nuclear arms race
From 1976-1981 the Institute launched the Public Education on Global Issues project, absorbed the Food Action Center of Washington, DC., published a series of WOMP Occasional Papers, and launches Operation Turning Point: Ending the Arms Race—a public education campaign to raise awareness around the escalating arms race.
Partnership with the
New School for Social Research
In 1991, WPI was absorbed into The New School for Social Research, at which time WOMP and its Alternatives journal separated from the Institute. James Chace became editor of World Policy Journal in 1993 and was succeeded in 2000 by Karl Meyer. Former Cuomo aide and UN official Stephen Schlesinger became director in 1997.
Signature projects at this time were the Eurasia Stability Index –which later spun off to become the consultancy Eurasia Group; Cuba Project; Russia Project; Rwanda Project; UN Project; the American Grand Strategy project; and weekly Thursday night lectures held at The New School.
In 2001, the Congressional Research Service recognized World Policy Journal for having published nine of the 43 most influential post-Cold War articles, more than any other publication.
World Policy Media
As part of its commitment to inclusive policymaking and citizen engagement, WPI and the Journal developed new partnerships and channels to reach audiences in even the most remote locations.
In addition to the Institute’s weekly World Policy On Air podcast, which reached over 200,000 listeners in over 35 countries, WPJ partnered with the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting to launch the Africa Investigates podcast which reached audiences from Nigeria to the US to Australia, and was syndicated on radio stations across Africa. In addition, WPI’s in house blogs, African Angle, Arctic in Context, Arts-Policy Nexus, and Polarizing Political Economy reached global audiences, bringing local voices into commentary on global issues.
At the same time, the Journal continued to bring some of the most critical issues of our time to the attention of a global audiences. Reaching readers across 100 countries and found in the libraries of 7,000 universities around the world, the Journal continued its legacy of bringing clarity and insights that extended far beyond the borders of the US.
Public Education for World Peace
World Policy’s second organizational pillar, the Fund for Education Concerning World Peace, was founded with the mission to expand public education of the international system and to explore opportunities to deal with world’s most critical problems. Initially established as a separate entity sponsored by the Institute for International Order (originally the Association for Education in World Government), the two organizations would later merge to become the Institute for World Order.
New Delhi Conference
The World Law Fund held its first international conference in New Delhi, India eventually leading to the creation of the World Order Models Project. At the New Delhi conference, the Fund presented an audience with what it considered to be the greatest problems facing the world, focusing first on the Indian context with plans to later incorporate other global perspectives.
The Fund hoped that by approaching these issues from a common-value perspective, future generations would be prepared to search for solutions from a global, rather than national, perspective, and could come together to develop acceptable solutions for an international system based on shared values.
Bringing the Arts into Policy Discussions
As part of its Educational Projects in the Creative Arts and Mass Media, the World Law Fund sponsored a seminar on world law and related matters with Leonard Bernstein, William Gibson, Robert Lowell and Ben Shahn. The seminar was attended by poets, novelists, painters, film producers, composers and photographers.
In April 1966, the World Law Fund held another seminar as part of its Creative Arts and Mass Media Program. This seminar was modeled upon the two 1965 seminars and was co-sponsored by Stanley Kunitz and Mark Rothko.
Dizzy Gillespie, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Faith Hubley, and John Hubley Collaborate on Voyage to Next
A Journal of World Policy
Throughout its existence, WOMP produced a number of publications documenting its work, including some that were summarized in the book On the Creation of a Just World Order.
In addition to publishing its research and findings, WOMP published the results of a series of conferences—the first of which was held in New Delhi, India, in 1968—in a collection of six books in the series: Preferred Worlds for the 1990s.
In 1975, WOMP sponsored the publication of a theoretical journal called Alternatives: A Journal for World Policy, which would set the stage for the World Policy Journal.
Launch of the World Policy Journal
In 1983, Sherle Schwenninger founded World Policy Journal, with Jerry Sanders and Robert Johansen.
A great deal of the Institute’s influence was exercised through World Policy Journal, which explored the rise of geo-economic rather than geo-political military conflict. During this time, the Journal was awarded numerous recognitions for its coverage of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and the changing global economy.
As a result of the Journal’s influence, Jerry Sanders, Sherle Schwenninger and Walter Russell Mead were all invited to contribute to the Cuomo Commission reports on rebuilding the American economy. Sanders and Mead were key architects of the first report in 1988, and Schwenninger was the key architect of the international economic policy section of the second report in 1992.
Newly Independent Institute
In 2007, the World Policy Institute and Journal spun off from the New School, re-incorporating as an independent 501c3 organization. After its re-incorporation, WPI developed strategic partnerships with think tanks, universities, and more around the world.
During this time, World Policy expanded its programming and events, launching series such as the Global Leadership Briefing Series, which featured prominent figures such as Vice President Al Gore and Mexican President Vicente Fox.
In addition to its activities in New York, the Institute also began to expand its presence both nationally and internationally. In 2015, the Institute led its first international research delegation to Cuba following the restoration of US-Cuba relations.
In the same year, WPI announced the launch of the World Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University, an interdisciplinary think tank in Los Angeles.