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Institute of Political Studies, PAS


Name: Institute of Political Studies, PAS

Address: ul. Polna 18/20, 00-625 Warsaw, Poland



Founded in 1990 the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences brings together leading Polish political scientists, historians and sociologists in order to create a unique environment where innovative knowledge and policy expertise is produced. The Institute’s mission is to conduct high-level multidisciplinary research that investigates political and social change at the crossroads between East and West.

In its early days ISPPAN focused predominantly on both theoretical and empirical study of post-communist societies in a comparative perspective as well as on transformation of the political system. This research agenda was set and promoted by the founder and first director of the Institute – Prof. Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski, a leading Polish sociologist and advisor of the Solidarity trade union.

Our studies of the political and socio-economic transformation in Poland are embedded in in-depth historical reflection on the resistance and opposition movements during the II World War and under communism. Joint teams of historians and political scientists study Poland’s relations with Germany on the one hand, and Soviet Union (Russia and Ukraine) on the other, both before and after 1989. Regional outlook on Central and Eastern Europe complements this research agenda.

Political change at the regional and global level is addressed by teams of scholars working on international security, European integration and East Asia. Finally, a political philosophy perspective complements our efforts to explain the ongoing political and social transformations in the XX and XXI century.

Disciplines: politics, contemporary history, sociology

Fields of activity:

  • Post-communist transformation in Poland: institutions and society – Poland in the European Union: politics and policies – Political elites in Poland – Polish foreign policy – Regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Political and socio-economic transformation: Global systemic transformations – Knowledge-based economy – Social policy – Opposition in communist Poland – Quality of democracy and social capital – Political community: liberal and republican traditions.
  • History and memory: Polish-German relations – Polish-Dutch relations – Polish-Jewish relations – Polish-Ukrainian relations – National minorities, II World War and anti-Soviet resistance – History and politics – Discourses and debates in contemporary Polish, Ukrainian and Russian historiographies – political and social history of the contemporary Poland – perpetrator studies
  • International security: Strategic studies – Global security structures – Euro-Atlantic system and the new world order – East Asia – European Security and Defence Policy.
  • European integration: Differentiated integration in the European Union – EU Foreign Policy – EU-Turkey relations – – EU Enlargement Policy – European Neighbourhood Policy.


Latest achievements:

The Institute of Political Studies is one of the leading Polish centres for the memory studies. Current research and publications are related to Katyń and Wołyń massacre, post-totalitarian transitional justice, politics of memory.

We are also active in the area of post-Soviet studies; in 2018 renowned scholar prof. Richard Pipes donated, as a token of appreciation, his private library to our Institute. This tremendous gift contributed to the foundation of the Pipes Laboratory, which through various conferences and post-doc programmes offers both physical and intellectual space of meeting for the Polish and foreign scholars studying history of the Soviet Union.

The other noteworthy area of research, conducted at the IPS, encompasses the EU studies with special focus on integration, disintegration and legitimization processes. The most recent example of such an analysis is a book by prof. Agnieszka Cianciara The Politics of the European Neighbourhood Policy (London & New York: Routledge, 2020).

During the last year, the researchers of the IPS have also published articles in top academic journals such as “East European Politics and Societies”, “Social Science Quarterly” or “Intelligence”.

Research facilities: Richard Pipes Library

Contact person:

Professor Piotr Osęka
Deputy Director for Research
(+48 22) 825 52 21