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WHAT IS ìpolicy?

ìpolicy is a dynamic, residential course in the liberal approach to public policy. The course involves a variety of interactive learning methods, including dynamic games, talks, dialogues, and documentaries, designed to provide participants with opportunities to explore and share ideas about policy-based solutions to social problems from a liberal perspective.

GOALS OF ìpolicy:

  • To create a fun, open, and respectful environment where everyone is encouraged to think critically about social, economic, and political issues.
  • To evoke in participants a passionate inquiry into their own values and role in creating a good society.
  • To equip participants with fundamental concepts of political economy and sound public policy to enable them understand the root cause of current challenges and effectively advocate for policy solutions through their current work and future professions.
  • To plug participants into a global network of opportunities to propel their intellectual growth, make personal connections and access resources to help them advance their vision of a free society

What You Should Expect from ìpolicy

ìpolicy is an introduction to Comparative Institutional Analysis, in other words, ìpolicy won't tell you how to solve people's specific day‐to‐day problems; as a course on public policy, it will discuss how to think about the "general FRAMEWORK" "WITHIN which" people solve problems in society—our motto is to look beyond the obvious, think beyond good intentions, act beyond activism.

By institutional framework we mean the "rules of the game" within which people act.

"Institutions" are the formal rules, informal norms, and cultural meanings that shape individual and organizational behaviour. Some institutions are "devised," planned, and agreed upon. Others have evolved without any plan and have been learned and perpetuated by individuals who live in a social setting—people who perpetuate these institutions may not even be consciously aware that they are doing so.

But basically, institutions are the "rules of the game" within which people act. This is what political economy and public policy are about.

The important thing about institutions is that they change the structure of costs and benefitsindividuals face and thus create incentives to act one way or another. How do the rules of the game affect the way people behave and interact and thus shape the outcomes of people's actions and interactions in society?

We'll discuss how to COMPARE and EVALUATE institutional frameworks according to how they enable people to solve problems. We'll examine the appropriateness of planned vs. spontaneously evolved institutions and governmental vs. civil society institutions in addressing different kinds of social‐problems.

CCS champions a liberal approach to public policy, which means that we think a system ofindividual rights, freedom of exchange, the rule of law, and limited government provide the best overall framework for people to solve social problems. However, there is lots of room for debate about the proper role of government, markets, and non‐profits.

We will address these issues from two different points of view. First, from a practical point of view: we think good policies, good institutional frameworks A) harness selfinterest anddispersed knowledge, and B) minimize the potential harm of ignorance and opportunism. We'll also explore policies from a moral point of view. What are the moral standards we use to decide what policy should be?

By the end, you should have an idea of what institutions are, how they influence behaviour and outcomes, and greater ability to evaluate what governments, nonprofits and markets should do and WHY.

The Academy conducts ipolicy courses for a variety of stakeholders around the year, including students, journalists, development leaders and business professionals.


Social Change and Public Policy: This session highlights CCS' belief that underlying every persistent social problem is either a bad policy or the absence of one. If public policy is the underlying cause, solving the problem effectively and for good requires policy reform based on an understanding of principles of sound public policy.

Kinds of Order in Society: In this session we explain the concept of "polycentric" or spontaneous order and that society is a mixture of planned and spontaneous orders. To make sound policy, policy makers must understand the nature of spontaneous order and the workings of the market.  If they do not, public policy and the market economy will undermine each other.

Not a Zero Sum Game: This session explains that voluntary exchange is win-win situation and that freedom to choose, specialize, and freedom of exchange allows for wealth creation.

Private and Political Markets: This session introduces the field of Public Choice Economics which uses the insights of economics to explain political processes such as elections and bureaucracy. He explains that the probability of "market failure" must be compared with the probability of "government failure" in order to make rational choices about what should be done by governments and markets.

Environmental Problems: The Tragedy of the Collective: This session is based on Garret Hardin's concept of the tragedy of the collective and why it explains most environmental problems.  The session presents policy case studies from across the globe that show how local, community and or private property management arrangements have successfully resolved environmental problems, given the right institutions of law.

In addition to talks, participants engage in regular participatory actives such as:

  • Dynamic games
  • Socratic, text-based dialogues
  • Working groups and peer-to-peer presentations
  • Documentaries and discussions
Provocative Talks

Provocative Talks

Working Groups

Working Groups

Dynamic Games

Dynamic Games



Peer-to-peer Presentations

Peer-to-peer Presentations


Application Process

Application process

To know more about the different ipolicy courses,  click on the following: