The World Policy Institute’s oldest predecessor organization, the Association for Education in World Government, was founded in 1948. Its purposes included the “collection, study and analysis of ‘information and facts relating to international organizations and international law’ and the exploration and study of ‘proposed methods of achieving world government through the United Nations or otherwise.” In 1952, the organization changed its name to the Institute for International Government. In 1954, it became the Institute for International Order. In 1955, Earl D. Osborn became President of the Institute.
Also in the aftermath of World War II, individuals who would eventually form the World Law Fund in New York met to discuss ways to prevent future wars. Chief among these was Grenville Clark, a lawyer and professor who was a leading voice among the United World Federalists. Heir to a banking and railroad fortune, he inspired and endowed what became the World Law Fund. In 1958, Grenville Clark and Louis Sohn, a Harvard Professor, published World Peace through World Law, which proposed revising the United Nations Charter to shift power away from Europe and establish a world police force. “These were giants,” says Arch Gillies, who served as the Institute’s President from 1981 to 1990. “They were the non-communist left and moderate internationalists.”