Institute of International Relations Prague

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Institute of International Relations Prague
Ústav mezinárodních vztahů, Nerudova 3, Malá Strana.jpg
Seat of the Institute
Abbreviation IIR
Motto Public research institution in the field of international relations.
Formation 1957
Type International relations, research institute
Headquarters 3 Nerudova street, Prague
Coordinates 50°5′17.86″N 14°24′4.94″E / 50.0882944°N 14.4013722°E / 50.0882944; 14.4013722Coordinates: 50°5′17.86″N 14°24′4.94″E / 50.0882944°N 14.4013722°E / 50.0882944; 14.4013722
The Director
doc. Ing. Mgr. Petr Kratochvíl, Ph.D.
Website [1]

Institute of International Relations (IIR) is a public research institution that conducts basic and applied scientific research in the field of international relations. Its director is doc. Ing. Mgr. Petr Kratochvil, Ph.D., important elements of self-government organizational structures are also IIR Board and the Supervisory Board.

IIR's predecessor was the Institute for International Politics and Economics (IIPE), founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1957.[1]

IIPE was canceled at the beginning of the normalization period in 1970 because of the activities of employees during the Prague Spring. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the Institute of International Relations underwent radical changes. In 2007, the IIR transformed into a public research institution, since when it had been funded through grants and foundations.

Since 1970 it has been located in 3 Neruda Street in Prague. The public can also visit the historic building and use the services of specialized libraries, study halls and attend organized events.

History and present[edit]

In 1957, the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the Institute of International Politics and Economics (IIPE). In the course of the 1960s, a number of the Institute’s researchers took part in the reform process which peaked during the Prague Spring of 1968. As a result, the IIPE was reorganized and on 1 March 1970 turned into the Institute of International Relations (IIR) which employed some of the IIPE’s employees.

The following period of the so-called normalization was characterized, especially in its first years, by strong ideological influence on the Institute’s activities. Nevertheless, the Institute continued maintaining relations with foreign institutions, including the capitalist countries. Its library also played an important role, as its funds comprised resources which were nowhere else to be found in the then Czechoslovakia.

The fall of communism meant important personnel as well as organizational changes also for the Institute of International Relations. In 1993, the scholarly quarterly journal Mezinarodni vztahy, which had been issued already since 1966, was joined by the Perspectives bi-annual published in English. The portfolio of periodicals was also gradually supplemented by the popular Mezinarodni politika monthly, issued – albeit with a 20 year interruption – already since 1957. The IIR also grew bigger, as it acquired two new autonomous units – the Diplomatic Academy (which became a separate body within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1 January 2007) and the Development Centre.

In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Institute - 2007 - the IIR underwent a transformation and turned into an independent public research institution.[2] There was also a change in funding, which has become much more dependent on the results of the Institute's staff: the Institute is supported through a grant scheme for projects in the field of foreign policy by foreign and domestic entities ( e.g. the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic ) and various foundations ( e.g. the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation or the American PEW Charitable Trust ).[3] These funds allow the implementation of the research activities of the Institute, also offering scholarships to support young scientists either through permanent research projects, or in the form of various internships.

At present, the Institute of International Relations ranks among the leading institutions in the field of international relations in the Czech Republic and in the European context, for example according to an independent evaluation of the University of Pennsylvania.[4] It was established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, workers of the IIR abiding by the Code of Ethics and internal rules do not hold one particular opinion or political current. Topics dealt with are free to be chosen and there is an internal or external way of evaluating scientific value and contribution to the field.[5]

Institute was located in the Lobkowicz Palace from 1957 to 1970, then it was moved into the building in 3 Neruda Street in Prague in Malá Strana.


In its activities, the IIR follows four basic goals:

  • to conduct research in the field of international relations
  • to strive for improvements in the quality and prestige of Czech science
  • to assist in the formation and conduct of foreign policy of the Czech Republic
  • to increase awareness of issues of international relations both among professionals and among the public

The main activity of the Institute is the research carried out by researchers of international relations department. IIR performs basic and applied research, the main concern is the field of European integration with a specific focus on the interests and actions of the Czech Republic in the European Union, international security, with emphasis on the role of the Czech Republic in international security relations, not least in the area of development of selected strategic regions. More specifically:

European integration[edit]

The aim is to follow the process of European integration and the role of the Czech Republic in this process, focusing especially on:

  • the future of the EU,
  • the institutional structure of the EU and reforms,
  • the EU enlargement,
  • building of the Common Foreign and Security Policy,
  • economic convergence of the Central and East European countries within the EU,
  • trade and monetary policy,
  • European policies of small states,
  • environmental policy and
  • co-operation in the area of justice and home affairs.

IIR is a member of TEPSA (Trans European Policy Studies Association).[6]

Security policy[edit]

The aim is to develop the abilities of Czech Republic to react flexibly vis-a-vis the security challenges of the new era. This comprises mainly issues such as:

  • building the Common European Security and Defence Policy,
  • contemporary and future transatlantic relations,
  • international crime and other non-military dimensions of security,
  • broader context of the reform of Czech armed forces, including acquisition issues,
  • peacekeeping operations, including complex missions which comprise crisis management, post-conflict stabilization and development,
  • relations between the media and state administration in the area of foreign and security policies, and
  • the issue of terrorism.

Developments in particular countries and regions of the world[edit]

The aim is to follow and analyse developments especially in those countries and regions which are topically covered by the IIR researchers. Currently it is mainly:

  • France, Germany
  • Central Europe and Visegrad countries
  • United States of America
  • Russia and the post-soviet region
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Southeast Asia and China
  • Scandinavia
  • the Balkans

The subject of additional activities of IIR is:

  • Publishing activities focused on international relations. The Institute publishes three periodicals focusing on international politics ( Mezinárodní politika - monthly, Mezinárodní vztahy - quarterly, Perspectives - semi-annually, in English) and books (monographs, study books, conference proceedings, files, documents, information materials). IIR is also actively involved in the publication impact factor of the Journal of International Relations and Development. IIR is also a long-term partner of The Europe's World, which brings together over 45 research institutions across Europe and provides a common platform for discussion on international relations to experts and policy makers from all EU member states.
  • Educational activities dedicated to the education and training of new recruits of Czech foreign service and to update skills of civil servants. Institute also cooperate with Metropolitan University Prague in Doctoral Degree Specialisations in English.[7]
  • Conference activities organized by the Institute for the general public. Number of conferences, round tables, presentations and discussions organized or co-organized by the IIR continues to grow ( 22 in 2007, 36 in 2008, 43 in 2009, 45 in 2010, 60 in 2012, i.e. more than one per week).[3]
  • Systematic collecting, managing and accessing thematically profiled book, journals and documentary fund focused on the field of international relations. Library services provide support to researchers of the Institute, as well as wider public and students. Library of IIR is in the field of international relations and foreign policy in the Czech republic unique, both in range of information sources, including modern media and the current primary sources, and in terms of its acquisition of continuity.

Organizational structure[edit]

The IIR has three bodies: The IIR Director, The IIR Board and the IIR Superisory Board. Apart from these main bodies, the IIR has two other ones: The Committee for Labour Affairs and The Ethical Committee.


is the statutory representative of the IIR and decides about all matters of the Institute which are not entrusted by the law to the founder or to the other two bodies. The Director of the IIR is appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech republic, based on the proposal of the IIR Board.

The current Director is Doc. Ing. Mgr. Petr Kratochvíl, Ph.D.

Name Term
Vladimír Soják 1957–1966
Antonín Šnejdárek 1966–1969
Miroslav Nikl 1969–1971
Jaromír Sedlák 1971–1976
Ján Bušniak 1976
Karel Kurka 1976–1981
Miloslav Hrůza 1981–1982
Ján Pudlák 1982–1986
Luděk Handl 1986
Ján Pudlák 1986 – January 1989
Ladislav Dvořák January – February 1989
Luděk Handl February – May 1989
Vladimír Čebiš May – October 1989
Dušan Spáčil November 1989 – March 1990
Václav Kotyk March 1990 – April 1991
Jiří Valenta May 1991 – March 1993
Věra Jeřábková March 1993 – Spring 1994
Otto Pick Spring 1994 – January 1998
Jiří Šedivý March 1998 - September 2004
Petr Drulák September 2004- May 2013
Petr Kratochvíl Since May 2013

IIR Board[edit]

IIR Board proposes the Director, establishes lines of action, approves the budget, internal regulations, annual reports, discusses proposals for research projects, etc.

Board is elected both from within their ranks (internal members ) and from experts from other legal entities of government departments engaged in research and users of research (external members).

The current Board was elected on 1 February 2012 and has the following composition ( I = internal member, E = external member) :

Chairman of the Board : Prof . Ing . Petr Drulák, Ph.D. (I ) Deputy Chairman of Board : Ing . Jiří Schneider ( E ) Current Council members are Prof. PhDr. Pavel Barša, M. A. (I); Ph.D., Ing. Ondřej Horký, Ph.D. (I); doc. Ing. Mgr. Petr Kratochvíl, Ph.D. ( I); PhDr. Michal Kořan, Ph.D. ( I); PhDr. Ondřej Ditrych, MPhil. Ph.D. (I); doc. MPhil. Jozef Bátor, Ph.D. (E ); doc. PhDr. Ing. Ondřej Císař, Ph.D. ( E ) prof. Jacques Rupnik, MA, Ph.D. ( E ); Jiří Šedivý, MA, Ph.D. (E).

Supervisory Board[edit]

Its powers and responsibilities include the supervision of the IIR's activities and management, supervising the management of the property of the IIR, preparation of draft rules of procedure of the Supervisory Board and its amemndments, the right to propose the dismissal of the director, the right to comment on the draft budget of the IIR, the manner of its operations, the right to propose amendments to the founding charter, on the proposed merger, consolidation or division of IIR, the draft research plans, a draft annual report.

Members of the Supervisory Board are appointed and recalled by the founder (in the case of the IIR it is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic) so that it reasonably represents the founder, and, eventually, also the employees of the public research institution.

Other essential parts of the organizational structure of the Institute of International Relations are Research Department, External Services Department and Internal Services Department.

Research department[edit]

The Research Department concentrates on the main activity of the IIR. The head of the Research Department is Ing. Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň, Ph.D.

External services department[edit]

Department of External Services includes the Secretariat, public relations and conference services, publishing and library. Head of the department is PhDr. Eliška Klementová, Ph.D.

Public relations and conference services of IIR are responsible for presenting the activities and outputs of the activity to the public. In particular the organization of scientific and educational activities ( conferences, workshops, expert discussions ), creating and managing web content presenting IIR and finally sending an electronic newsletter on the activities of the IIR and management of social media. Publishing specializes in the production of periodical and non-periodical publications of IIR and their sales. It provides editing, proofreading, graphic design and all other stages of preparation prior to printing. The library provides for the IIR access to information resources in the form of books, magazines, newspapers, as well as a database of articles, etc. It also archives the results of research and publication activities of the IIR. The library is open to the public and presents the unique source of information on issues of international relations.

Internal services department[edit]

The ISD is responsible for economic and operational matters. It manages the premises of the Institute, the Institute's computer network, IT, bookkeeping, legal services, etc. The head of department is JUDr. Petr Kaňka.


  1. ^ "The EU Non-Proliferation Consortium - Think tank : Institute of International Relations Prague". Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Institute of International Relations Prague (IIR)". Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  3. ^ a b "Zpráva o činnosti Ústavu mezinárodních vztahů, v.v.i., za rok 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  4. ^ "2012 Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Matúš Mišík. "Výzkumní pracovníci - Ústav mezinárodních vztahů". Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Institute of International Relations, Prague". Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  7. ^ "Study Information - Metropolitní univerzita Praha". Retrieved 2014-02-18. 

External links[edit]

Official website