Policy Studies Institute

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The Policy Studies Institute (PSI) is a British think-tank and research institute. PSI began in 1931 as Political and Economic Planning and became the Policy Studies Institute in 1978 on its merger with the Centre for Studies in Social Policy (est 1972). PSI became an independent subsidiary of the University of Westminster in 1998 and merged with the University in 2009. The Director of PSI is Ben Shaw.

Working at the interface of policy and research, PSI combines the rigour of academic research with expert knowledge of policy agendas and processes to generate research outputs that inform the needs of policymakers. PSI’s aim is to deliver results that are high quality, relevant, usable, and enrich the value of our users’ work.

Since its origin in 1931, PSI has delivered, disseminated and promoted insightful, high-quality evidence-based research that affects society (PSI history). The Institute has prioritised sustainable development with particular reference to the environment, policy and practice as the present area of greatest need.

Now based in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster, PSI’s interdisciplinary team applies leading-edge qualitative and quantitative methods and designs to produce outputs which inform a sustainable future

PSI’s current research themes include: energy and climate change; resource use and the circular economy; mobility and transport; the role of communities and business in delivering a sustainable future; cities, innovation and sustainability transitions; public behaviours, attitudes and policy; and policy and research evaluation.

A large number of PSI publications are available on the PSI Publications web page

From its Central London base PSI collaborates with an international network of researchers and centres working on environment and sustainable development policy; PSI coordinates the Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN).

PSI is politically neutral and has no connections to any political party, commercial interests or pressure groups. The Institute’s income is derived from a variety of sources including: government departments, research and higher education funding councils, the European Commission, charitable foundations and business.

Leading researchers who have worked at the Institute include Mayer Hillman, Paul Ekins and Tariq Modood.