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History of the Institute and the Faculty


The traditions of political studies in Kraków date back  to the beginning of the 20th century. Thanks to the efforts of the Society for the Polish School of Political Science, and especially of its three members, the Jagiellonian University Professors of Law: Michał Rostworowski, Aleksander Włodzimierz Czerkawski, and Władysław Leopold Jaworski, the Polish School of Political Science was founded in 1911. Its major objective was to create a Polish centre for political science which would educate the Poles living within the borders of three different states (after the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century) and help them survive as a nation by increasing their national and civic awareness.  This was especially important in the context of the ongoing socio-political processes, such as democratization, administrative reforms, growing industrialization and the increase in the role of self governance.

The newly founded School, with a reputation of a bastion of conservative thought, competed with the left-oriented School of Socio-Political Science, headed by Zofia Daszyńska-Golińska, Wilhelm Feldman, and the JU Professor Odon Bujwid. Other important Polish centres of political studies in that period were the School of Political Science in Lvov, and the School of Social and Economic Science in Warsaw (later transformed into the School of Political Science).


After Poland regained independence in 1918, the mission of the re-activated School changed,  and so did its programme and legal status. On 30 July 1922 an agreement was signed between the Rector of the Jagiellonian University and the President of the Society for the Polish School of Political Science. On the basis of this agreement, the School became a unit within the JU Faculty of Law.

The structure, functions, and curriculum of the JU School of Political Science were largely modelled on the prestigious Paris school of political science, Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, from which many of its founders had graduated. However, much attention was paid to adapt this model to the Polish reality and tradition.

The main goal of the School of Political Science in the independent Poland was to equip its students with the political, diplomatic and socio-economical knowledge which would enable them to work in political and economic institutions of the rebuilt Polish state. It took two years to complete the education there. The lectures and classes were taught in the evening. After passing all the exams, the alumni received a diploma, but they did not have the status of higher education graduates.


The outbreak of the World War II in 1939 forced the School to close down. It was re-activated in autumn 1944, when a group of the former students and professors organized underground classes. After the War, the school was re-opened in November 1946 with Professor Ludwig Ehrlich from Lvov as its new Head. Unfortunately, despite good prospects, the idea of the School was out of line with the policy of the new educational authorities and the institution was finally disbanded in 1949.

In spite of the relatively short period of existence, the School played an important role in the history of Polish academia, with many distinguished scholars and intellectuals among its graduates, for instance: Melchior Wańkowicz, Wojciech Natanson, Kazimierz Piwarski, Ludwik Bar, Konstanty Grzybowski, Stefan Grzybowski, Marian Z. Jedlicki i Władysław Siedlecki.

One of these academics, Professor Stefan Grzybowski, together with Professors Kazimierz Opałek, Marek Sobolewski and Witold Zakrzewski, became one of the pillars of the JU Institute of Political Science created in 1969. The presence of the distinguished scholars ensured high academic standards of the newly founded unit.

In 2001 the Institute became part of the newly established Faculty of International and Political Studies.

The Faculty

The information about the history of the Faculty is available at: