Policy formulation in Singapore is considered elitist in nature because public policies are usually formulated by the elite rather than the masses. Several professional organizations have also been consulted from time to time on public policy decisions. The more prominent among these associations are the Singapore Medical Association; Singapore Law Society; the Singapore Institute of Architects; the Institute of Engineers, Singapore; and the Association of Consulting Engineers, Singapore. The establishment of the youngest think tank in Singapore, the Institute of Policy Studies has to be considered against the political and economic context at the time. Singapore's think tanks are generally policy-oriented and most of them are interested in international affairs. The Institute for Policy Studies was established as a center for policy discussions and discourse on issues of concern and interest to Singapore and Singaporeans. The framework within which think tanks operate in Singapore has been characterized by managers drawn from academia.