The Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364, is the oldest university in Poland and the second oldest institution of higher education in Central and Eastern Europe. It was here that the Cracow School of the Law of Nations was developed in the 15th century (an early form of contemporary international law). Then, at the beginning of the 19th century, the Department of Political Skills was established at our university.
After Poland regained independence, the School of Political Science (SPS) was established within the Faculty of Law in 1920. It was based on the Free School of Political Science (École Libre des Sciences Politiques) in Paris. The activity of the SPS was halted by the onset of WW II, and underground education was organized in its place. Although the school resumed its operation in 1946, it was closed by communist authorities in the late 1940s. In 1969, the Institute of Political Science (IPS) was established at the Faculty of Law.
In the year 2000, the Faculty of International and Political Studies was founded. It was divided into four units: (1) the Institute of Political Science (mentioned above); (2) the Institute of Ethnic Studies and Polish Diaspora (established in 1972); (3) the Institute of Regional Studies; and (4) the School of Polish Language and Culture (operating as part of the faculty until 2005).
One of the main purposes for establishing the new Faculty was to combine academic and didactic efforts undertaken by various groups of academic researchers at the university in the field of political and international developments – as seen from legal, historical, philosophical, sociological, and cultural perspectives.
With time, new units were established within the faculty, often as a result of the reorganization of previously existing units. In 2004, the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora (which also included the Interfacultative Department of American Studies, founded in 1991) and the Institute of European Studies (which emerged from the Interfacultative Department of European Studies, established in 1993) were founded. In 2005, the Institute of Russian and East European Studies was founded.
In 2005, the Division of Ukrainian Studies (established in 2000) became an independent unit of the Faculty. Pursuant to a decree issued by the President of the Jagiellonian University in 2006, the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture, otherwise known as "The Confucius Institute in Krakow," become part of the faculty.
In 2008, the Centre for Holocaust Studies was founded out of the Holocaust Studies Unit established in 1996. In 2010, the Division of the Middle and Far East (established in 2000) became the Institute of the Middle and Far East. In the same year, the Centre for Lithuanian Studies was established.
In 2012 the Centre for Quantitative Research in Political Science was established on the initiative of the Faculty of International and Political Studies and the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. Also in 2012, the Jagiellonian University Polish Research Centre was established in London with the help of researchers from the Faculty.
In 2013 the Institute for Regional Studies was reformed as the Institute of Intercultural Studies. The Jagiellonian Centre for Migration Studies was also opened that year. In 2014, the Jagiellonian Centre for African Studies was established.
Current faculty units can be found under "Faculty units".