Open Society Institute

Open Society Institute
Open Society Foundations
Osi logo.jpg
Founder(s) George Soros
Founded 1993
Location New York, New York
Key people George Soros, Chairman
Aryeh Neier, President
Stewart J. Paperin, Executive Vice President

The Open Society Institute (OSI), renamed in 2011 to Open Society Foundations, is a private operating and grantmaking foundation started by George Soros, aimed to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSF implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSF works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses.

One of the aims of the OSF is the development of civil society organizations (e.g., charities, community groups and trade unions) to encourage participation in democracy and society.



Open Society Institute was created in 1993 by investor George Soros to support his foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. On May 28, 1984 Soros signed the contract between the Soros Foundation (New York) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the founding document of the Soros Foundation Budapest. [1]This was followed by several foundations in the region to help countries move away from communism. In August 2010, Open Society Initiative changed its name to Open Society Foundations to better reflect its role as funder for civil society groups around the world. OSF has expanded the activities of the Soros Foundations network to other areas of the world where the transition to democracy is of particular concern. The Soros Foundations network has nodes in more than 60 countries, including the United States. OSF projects include the National Security and Human Rights Campaign that opposes detention of unprivileged combatants and the Lindesmith Center and others dealing with drug reform.


Related initiatives include the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). Recent efforts have included those that have met with controversy, including an effort in East Africa aimed at spreading human rights awareness among prostitutes in Uganda and other East African nations, which was not received well by the Ugandan authorities, who considered it an effort to legalize and legitimize prostitution.[2] Other initiatives includes: AfriMAP; Arts & Culture Program; Americas Quarterly; Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative; Central Eurasia Project; Central Eurasia Project; Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap; Documentary Photography Project; Early Childhood Program; East East Program: Partnership Beyond Borders; Education Support Program; EUMAP; Global Drug Policy Program; Information Program; International Higher Education Support Program; Latin America Program; Local Government & Public Service Reform Initiative; Media Program; Middle East & North Africa Initiative; Open Society Fellowship; OSI-Baltimore; OSI-Brussels; OSI-Washington, D.C.; Public Health Program; Roma Initiatives; Scholarship Programs; Special Initiatives; Think Tank Fund[3]; Turkmenistan Project; U.S. Programs; Women's Program; the Youth Initiative[4]; the International Migration Initiative; and Policy Matters Ohio.

See also


  1. ^ Nóvé Béla TÉNY/SOROS$FILE/T%C3%A9ny_soros.pdf
  2. ^ BBC NEWS | Africa | Uganda prostitute workshop banned
  3. ^
  4. ^

Further reading

  • Thomas Carothers (1999) Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve, Washington DC., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1999.
  • Nicolas Guilhot, ‘Reforming the World: George Soros, ‘Global capitalism and the philanthropic management of the social sciences’, Critical Sociology, 2007.
  • Andrea Krizsán and Viola Zentai (eds) Reshaping Globalization: Multilateral Dialogues and New Policy Initiatives, Budapest, Central European University Press, 2003.
  • Thomas Palley, ‘The Open Institute and Global Social Policy’, Global Social Policy, 3(1) 2003: 17-18.
  • Joan Roelofs, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism, Albany, SUNY, 2003.
  • Diane Stone, “Market Principles, Philanthropic Ideals and Public Service Values: The Public Policy Program at the Central European University”, PS: Political Science and Politics, July 2007: 545—551

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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