IGGI’s primary activity is research and education in four areas that define good government in the United States: (1) transparency in government, (2) respect for persons, (3) the rule of law and (4) democratic inclusion. We analyze data obtained from public records requests, interviews and public opinion surveys on issues in each domain, publishing our results in scholarly peer-reviewed journals, books, news sources and/or online at www.thinkiggi.com. We also highlight significant issues of controversy relevant to public policy in order to teach critical thinking to the public through balanced, non-partisan models of best practices for analysis.

How is IGGI’s Approach Different from Other Think Tanks?

IGGI is different from other think tanks because (1) it does not seek nor knowingly accept foreign donations, (2) it relies on peer review for feedback on our work and (3) it tackles controversial issues that are otherwise understudied or under-reported.

First, as a domestic think tank, IGGI adheres to the value that American public policy must not be shaped by nor appear to be subject to foreign influences. In contrast, in September of 2014, the New York Times reported that, “More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities. The money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington” [1].

Second, IGGI representatives regularly present our research and provide feedback to a rigorous academic community of scholars with doctorates and to professional working in oversight. A Washington Post article on think tanks during the same period admonished: “We should remember that scholarship refers in principle to a system marked by relative transparency and self-regulation through peer review, and that its results are not meant to be for sale” [2].

Third, IGGI regularly tackles fundamental yet difficult issues through rigorous research and education efforts that broadly affect the everyday lives of Americans. This is our mission.

[1] Lipton, Eric, Williams, Brooke & Confessore, Nicholas. September 6, 2014. Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks. New York Times. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/us/politics/foreign-powers-buy-influence-at-think-tanks.html?_r=1
[2] Medvetz, Tom. September 9, 2014. The Myth of Think Tank Independence. The Washington Post. Available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/09/09/the-myth-of-think-tank-independence/

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