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The Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, a part of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, was established in 1976 to conduct research into the values and concepts that underlie public policy. Most studies concerned with public policy are empirical: they assess costs, describe constituencies, and gather data with the goal of making predictions. Though the Institute frames its research questions by looking carefully at empirical data, its own work is primarily conceptual and normative. It investigates the structure of arguments and the nature of values relevant to the formation, justification, and criticism of public policy. Through its publications and its Web site, the Institute seeks to clarify and contribute to public discussion.
In 1998 the Institute, in conjunction with the Department of Government and Politics, the Department of Philosophy, and the School of Public Affairs, formed the Committee on Politics, Philosophy, and Public Policy, an interdisciplinary graduate specialization and research consortium at the University of Maryland. Under the auspices of the Committee, Institute scholars teach with other faculty in a proseminar for graduate students from various disciplines, focusing on such topics as theories of justice, institutional and constitutional design, the nature of democracy, and rational choice theory. They also participate in a biweekly workshop in which faculty, visitors, and graduate students present their research. In several departments of the University, Institute scholars have long taught graduate and undergraduate courses in philosophy of law, political philosophy, and bioethics.
To make its research accessible to a broad audience, the Institute publishes Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly. The Quarterly, which is available at no charge, supplements and summarizes Institute scholarship, and features other selected philosophical work on public policy questions.
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The Globethics.net library contains articles of Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly from Vol. 1(1981) to vol 32, No 3/4 (2014), latest issue published.
Website of Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly