ipg houseThe Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance maintains an active program of empirical and theoretical research and learning linked to the Institute’s policy and governance-related domains of interest to achieve more fully democratic societies at all geographic scales. We engage in research, capacity building, technical outreach and community-based participatory inquiry with and on behalf of those we serve, principally disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.

The Institute’s current research and project emphases are concentrated around these policy areas:

Child and Family Social Welfare Policy Group

Governance and Civil Society Group

Public and Community Health Group

Public Policy Data Group


Community Voices

Community Voices seeks to develop community capacity for civic dialogue that generates ideas for positive change, ideas that matter.


Latest News & Events

September 19, 2014

  • Max Stephenson and Laura Zanotti will present during a panel presentation ("How to open the black box: concepts and methods to explore global science and technology") on their paper, "Exploring the Nexus of Aesthetics, Agency and Peacebuilding" at the 56th ISA Annual Convention to be held February 18-21, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

September 18, 2014

September 16, 2014

  • On the weekend of February 6-8, 2015, the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech will present its third student research symposium. Keynote Speaker Timothy Phillips, Founder of Beyond Conflict, will lead a workshop for students on Saturday, February 7th. Posters and workshops are encouraged as well as traditional paper presentations. Symposium participants may be undergraduate or graduate students studying any academic discipline. Proposals are due on December 14, 2014. For more information, please email cpsvp@vt.edu.

September 15, 2014

September 11, 2014

  • The next RE: Reflections and Explorations of the semester has been posted: Ecological re-enlivenment and the role of the arts in community development – by Sarah Halvorson-Fried (MURP)
  • Interested in gaining international field experience in environmental, public health, social matters, and more? Click here to read more about a 2014 Winter Session in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (the dates of the session are 12/27/14 - 1/9/15)

September 8, 2014

September 5, 2014

  • The latest issue of SPECTRA: The ASPECT journal (Vol. 3, No. 2) is now available. This is a special issue on Hannah Arendt: Fifty Years after Eichmann in Jerusalem. This issue also features an essay written by Max Stephenson, "When Empathy Withers."
  • CityWorks (X)po is less than 4 weeks away! Recently added to the lineup is Duron Chavis, a coordinator of innovative and dynamic initiatives on the topics of poverty, urban agriculture, and food security.

    (X)po is an annual interactive summit of people involved in and passionate about the work of creating vibrant, dynamic, wonderful communities. Read more about (X)po here!

September 4, 2014

  • On Thursday, September 18 at 4:00pm in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theater of the Moss Arts Center, The Virginia Tech Center for the Arts is presenting "Boundaries and Bridges" with Monkey House Concerts. The event features a show and panel discussion with two bands - one Pakistani (Khumariyaan) and one American (The Boston Boys), who will share their stories and their passion to perform using traditional instruments to preserve and push the limits of the music they make (click here for more info)

September 3, 2014

September 2, 2014

August 28, 2014

  • Maya Berinzon (VTIPG Research Associate) had her article entitled Copy and Paste: Transplanting International HIV/AIDS Model Laws into African Countries accepted for publication in the winter edition of the Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law, a top-ranked law journal featuring Articles, Case Comments, and student Notes covering a variety of cutting-edge international and comparative law topics.

August 26, 2014

  • Max Stephenson and Lyusyena Kirakosyan had their paper entitled “Investigating the Nexus of Cultural Development, Peacebuilding and ‘Local Ownership:’ The Case of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland,” accepted for presentation at the 10th International Conference of the Arts in Society, to be held July 22-24, 2015 in London, England.

August 25, 2014

August 22, 2014

  • Lindy Cranwell (PGG; Director of International & Graduate Education) had her proposal entitled Breaking Barriers for STEM Study Abroad accepted for presentation at the Region VIII Conference for NAFSA: International Educators, to take place thisNovember 4-7 in Williamsburg, VA. Lindy and colleague Kara Lattimer (Civil & Environmental Engineering) will present on the topic together, discussing what it takes to create and sustain a successful study abroad program for STEM students.

August 18, 2014

August 11, 2014

August 5, 2014

  • Sabith Khan (PGG) recently had his paper proposal, The Fall of Religious Communitarian and the Rise of the Ethical Humanitarian? : A case for re-thinking the ‘identification model’ of philanthropy, accepted for presentation at AMEPPA’s 3rd Global Conference on Public Policy and Administration in the Middle East, December 5 – 6, 2014 in Beirut, Lebanon.

August 4, 2014

  • Max Stephenson's latest Soundings commentary has been posted: On “Tolerance” and Preserving Democratic Possibility.. Thank you for reading and enjoy!
  • Max Stephenson recently presented a paper, “A Comparative Analysis of Efforts to Encourage Participatory Possibility in Three Fields of Development Action,” at the 11th International Society for Third Sector Research conference, held from July 22-25 in Münster, Germany.

July 23, 2014

  • The latest VTIPG quarterly newsletter has been posted, Volume 3, Issue 3. Thank you to all who were a part of putting this together, and thank you for reading!

July 8, 2014

  • Lyusyena Kirakosyan, VTIPG Senior Project Associate, recently had her article entitled "Affirmative action quotas in Brazilian higher education Analyzing claims and implications" published in the Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. 8 No. 2.

July 7, 2014

July 3, 2014

  • Coauthors Maya Berinzon and Ryan Briggs (Assistant Professor, Political Science) had their paper entitled "Plus Ça Change: An Examination of Legal Codes in French West Africa" accepted for presentation at the African Studies Association annual conference to be held this November 20-23, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. "The 57th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association offers a unique opportunity for scholars across diverse fields to critically examine the locations of violence in Africa’s past, present and future, and the creative responses to these forms and sites of violence, including new opportunities for reconstruction."

July 1, 2014

  • Max Stephenson's latest Tidings quarterly reflection has been posted: On the Challenge of Studying the Confluence of Policy and Governance.

    Note to readers: This, the 25th Tidings, is the last that will appear in this way. When I began writing this column the Institute did not publish a quarterly newsletter, nor did I write a weekly Soundings commentary. It appears appropriate now to offer Tidings, which will continue, as the Director’s reflection in our future newsletters. Thank you to all of you who have read these columns during the last several years. I hope you will continue to do so under its new banner. MOS


News Archive | Awards




Upcoming Events

Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, 4 PM - The Boston Boys and Khumariyaan: Boundaries and Bridges (click here for more info)

Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, 4:30 PM in 427 Major Williams Hall - Fahad Bishara, Assistant Professor of History at the College of William and Mary, will present on "Law and the Genres of the Credit Economy in the 19th c. Western Indian Ocean" (click here for more info)

October 2-4, 2014 at Hotel Roanoke: (X)po

Friday, October 3, 2014 - 4:00pm, Holtzman Alumni Center Auditorium - lecture for the General Public from the Honorable Stephen T. Ayers, Architect of the Capitol, Washington, D.C. on "Serve, Preserve, and Inspire" (more info)

Tuesday, October 14, 6:45pm in the Brush Mountain Room (Squires) - Community Voices speaker Francesco Manca on “The role of the United Nations in the Middle East.”

Fall 2014 Science and Technology in Society Seminar Schedule

Blogs & Commentaries


weekly commentary from the Director of IPG, Max Stephenson Jr.


quarterly reflection from the Director of IPG, Max Stephenson Jr.

Thriving Places Project

This project shares ideas for change, and provides resources for people interested in making positive changes in their community.

RE: Reflections and Explorations

A graduate student commentary.

Patrick in Macedonia

Master's International Program Student, Patrick Burke, shares his Peace Corps experiences in Macedonia.