Our organisation

The Polish Political Science Association (PPSA) was founded in November 1957. The organisation was established to bring together all Polish scientific societies dealing with political science and the dissemination of knowledge on politics. Hence, at the outset a decision was made to adopt a federal structure. However, the first years of its functioning and the lack of opportunities to create alternative political science organisations necessitated changes to the original concept. Since 1960, the organisational setup of the PPSA was aligned with the Polish law on associations. In principle, individuals could be members and supporting members rather than groups. Thus, the federal structure of the organisation was abandoned.

The establishment of the Association was a bottom-up initiative based on the need to influence decision-making. The establishment of this professional corporation was also an attempt to follow the scientific community and join political science organisations that formed the International Political Science Association (IPSA)

Until 1965, the PPSA operated locally at the University of Warsaw only (120 people). A major breakthrough in its development and activity occurred when the newly elected Board, consisting of Stanisław Ehrlich, Jerzy J. Wiatr, Adam Podgórecki, Marek Sobolewski, Franciszek Ryszka and Krzysztof Ostrowski, vigorously campaigned to promote and expand the organisation throughout the country. This turned out to be successful, resulting in a rapid expansion of the organisation’s membership.

In 1967, the Association had 295 members in six branches: Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków, Poznań, Lublin and Toruń. In the following years, the number of members increased from 322 in 1969, to 450 in 1973, to reach 588 in 1978. The number of branches doubled and the twelve branches operated in Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań, Wrocław, Toruń, Szczecin and Zielona Góra. After 1979, two new branches were established in Białystok and Kielce. In the late 1980s early 1990s, several branches of the Association reduced their activity. This applied in particular to Kraków, Wrocław, Zielona Góra, Toruń and Katowice. In 1985, the Association had 550 members grouped in fourteen branches.

Polish political scientists, members of the PPSA, were also active internationally, as they focused on cooperation within the IPSA, its international counterpart. Despite IPSA’s cautious attitude towards the “Marxist political science”, Polish researchers were invited and elected to IPSA governing bodies. Manfred Lachs, Stanisław Ehrlich, Adam Schaff, Oskar Lange, and later Jerzy J. Wiatr, Kazimierz Opałek, Longin Pastusiak and Krzysztof Pałecki were members and representatives of the governing bodies. Additionally, Stanisław Ehrlich, Artur Bodnar, Jerzy J. Wiatr founded and chaired three IPSA research committees. Czesław Mojsiewicz and Krzysztof Ostrowski also made important contributions to international cooperation. Moreover, the PPSA organised two IPSA Round Table conferences, in 1966 and 1977. Polish political scientists participated in political science congresses and international scientific conferences, especially the IPSA Congress in Washington, D.C., in 1988. They also started cooperation in publishing with the International Political Science Review and became members of its editorial board.

Undoubtedly, the participation of Polish scholars, members of the PPSA, in the IPSA contributed to the prestige of Polish political science and helped to adapt it to the relevant standards of democratic countries. This helped to keep abreast of the research, theoretical and methodological achievements of academic centres based in the United States, Canada and Western Europe.

During the communist period, the PPSA gathered and integrated the political science community. The Association initiated discussions on fundamental scientific topics, although possibilities for open debates were to a considerable extent limited at that time. Although national and international conventions, symposia and scientific conferences were organised, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the PPSA experienced a serious institutional and identity crisis.

On 19 November 1982, the Sixth PPSA Congress was held in Łódź. It critically evaluated the previous Association’s activity. However, despite the unfavourable situation in the PPSA, the involvement of Polish political scientists in the IPSA bodies continued to be significant after 1989. In 1997-2000, Krzysztof Pałecki served as the Vice-President of IPSA, while in 2009-2012, Teresa Sasińska-Klas became a member of the IPSA Executive Committee. Moreover, Polish political scientists were instrumental in establishing the Central European Political Science Association (CEPSA). The organisation was founded in 1994, with Jerzy J. Wiatr as co-founder and president from 2000 to 2003. In 2000-2006, Krzysztof Pałecki was a member of the CEPSA Executive Committee.

A turning point in the operation of the PPSA was the election of Teresa Sasińska-Klas to the position of President of the General Board in 2004. The growing interest in political science in Poland, manifested by a growing number of students and academics, and the establishing of new fields of study were conducive to the renewal of the Association activity.  The rapid development of PPSA brought joint initiatives with the Political Science Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences to organise the 1st National Political Science Congress in Warsaw. It was held on 22-24 September 2009[1].

The 2010-2022 period witnessed a rapid growth of the Polish Political Science Association. Today, the PPSA has 19 branches and 13 scientific sections. Further Congresses of Political Science have been held in Poznań, Kraków, Lublin and Wrocław, and the 6th Congress organised in Łódź. The organisation of the IPSA World Congress in 2016 by the Poznań-based branch was yet another important event for the political science community.

The PPSA has been supporting the integration of the Polish political science into the global political science community. A representative of the Polish Political Science Association is usually elected to the IPSA Executive Committee, and Poles are re-elected to IPSA Research Committees. Information about the PPSA as one of the 12 national political science organisations was published in “Participation”, the newsletter of the International Political Science Association (vol. 41, no. 1, August 2017, p. 30).

Since January 2012, the Polish Political Science Association has been a member of the European Confederation of Political Science Associations (ECPSA), an organisation that covers the European continent and integrates national political science societies. The organisation’s goal is to support an alignment in political science research and curricula at the academic level. The ECPSA meeting held in Berlin (Humboldt University, 26 November 2016) appointed a Polish delegate (Prof. A. Żukowski) to the Executive Committee of the organisation. Its next Lisbon ECPSA meeting (University of Lisbon, 22 February 2019), re-elected Prof. A. Żukowski to be a member of the Executive Committee.

At the same time, Prof. Agnieszka Kasińska-Metryka promoted the collaboration between the PPSA and CEPSA, e.g. participation in annual CEPSA conferences. At the conference held in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, in 13-14 September 2019, Prof. A. Kasińska-Metryka was elected to the CEPSA Executive Committee for the 2019-2021 term of office. Moreover, P. Żukiewicz, PhD, an official PPSA delegate, was appointed as a member of the CEPSA Council.

The PPSA shares information, official positions and joint undertakings with other organisations from related scientific disciplines. These include the Polish Communication Association, Polish Association of European Studies, and the Polish Press Law Association. Prof. I. Hofman, President of the PPSA, who is at the same time President of the Council of Scientific Societies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the PPSA became a member of the latter organisation. On behalf of the PPSA, Prof. Magdalena Musiał-Karg, PhD, participates in the meetings of the Council. In 20-22 October 2022, Prof. Arkadiusz Żukowski and Prof. Magdalena Musiał-Karg represented the political science community at the Third Congress of Scientific Societies ‘Social Dimension of the Activity of Scientific Societies’ (Gdańsk-Sopot). The congress attracted representatives of the majority of Polish scientific societies.

During the 26th World Congress of the International Political Science Association held in Lisbon in 10-15 July 2021, the PPSA General Board was represented by its President Arkadiusz Żukowski and vice-presidents Magdalena Musiał-Karg and Agnieszka Kasińska-Metryka. Prof. Arkadiusz Żukowski was re-elected as a member of the IPSA Executive Committee. Prof. Adam Szymański, a member of the PPSA Executive Committee, was elected Chairman of the Research Committee ‘Democratisation in Comparative Perspective’ (Research Committee 13). Moreover, Prof. Magdalena Musiał-Karg, Vice-President of the PPSA, was elected Vice-Chair of the Research Committee ‘Political Communication’ (Research Committee 22). It is worth mentioning that other PPSA members were elected as chairs, vice-chairs and members of Executive Committees of other IPSA Research Committees.

The election was not only a personal success, but also recognition of Polish political science and the activity of the Polish Political Science Association on the international arena. It is increasingly difficult to be elected as members of the IPSA governing bodies not only due to new member-states represented on the IPSA Council, but also due to IPSA’s policy of geographical representation and preferences for representatives of the Global South.


[1] This is part of the article: Historia Polskiego Towarzystwa Nauk Politycznych (1957-2010) (History of the Polish Political Science Society (1957-2010)) by B. Krauz – Mozer, P. Borowiec, P. Ścigaj.