The Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS)

As a leading think tank on Middle East risk assessment, the primary mission of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya is to contribute to Israel’s national policy and to the upgrading of its strategic decision-making process.  

Established in 2000, the range of IPS projects encompasses a variety of issues crucial to Israel. IPS conducts policy research on a broad analytical scope to identify evolving issues and trends and to assess emerging risks and opportunities. Concentrating on Middle East politics and Israel’s foreign affairs, IPS also invests in innovative methodologies and policy analysis focusing on political/strategic risk assessment and management.

IPS cultivates close working relations with governments, public institutions, think-tanks and research institutes around the world. Drawing on its range of networks and convening power, IPS fosters informed dialogue and policy debate also through high-level summitry. These debates impact national policy by producing pragmatic responses that tangibly advance the national interests of Israel. IPS is action-oriented in the sense that it also supports and follows the implementation of the strategic directions and policy solutions devised under its auspices. 

In many respects, Herzliya – the hometown of the Interdisciplinary Center and the IPS – that is named after Theodore Herzl, the visionary of modern Zionism, epitomizes the belief that Israel and the Jewish people must take charge of their destiny to actively shape events and processes critical to the future of Israel. This belief guides the Institute’s work.  The Annual Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security is the flagship of IPS activities. 


Key Policy Areas

      The Broader Middle East: Macro-Regional Strategic Risk Assessment 

The highly qualified research team of IPS, in cooperation with renowned think-tanks, scholars and practitioners, lead a series of in-depth projects on the strategic trends in the Middle East and the Muslim World based on a profound understanding of political and religious culture of the countries and actors in the Middle East. These policy-oriented projects focus on radical Islam, the regional strategy of Iran, nuclear proliferation, regional stability, and social-political stability of key Middle East countries.

      Israel’s Foreign Affairs and International Relations 

By fostering active leadership networks of common interest and cooperation, IPS works with government agencies, international organizations, think-tanks and prominent individuals from Israel and around the world to advance Israel’s foreign relations and international standing and to promote an informed debated on Israel’s foreign policy catalyzing the formation of a smart power-based grand strategy for Israel. To that end, the Institute’s Diplomacy and Security Simulations’ Unit holds regular simulation sessions on topical issues, such as the nuclearization of Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, with the participation of senior Israeli and international decision-makers, practitioners, and experts. In addition, IPS carries out a specialized course for diplomats serving in Israel and hosts the “Media in Conflicts Seminar” (MICS), an annual media seminar on Middle East issues for future international media leaders.

      Methodologies for National and Foreign Policy Security 

The IPS Methodology Program consists of a series of path-breaking and unique approaches developed by the IPS to allow for a comparative assessment of strategic risks, national security and foreign relations. The current focus of IPS work in this field is the application of risk assessment and management methodologies to the study of strategic trends in and across the Middle East.


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