On June 26-29, 2019 at the JU’s Faculty of International and Political Studies, European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), the biggest European workshops focused on International Relations and gathering over 300 scholars from all over the world, took place. EWIS are launched by European International Studies Association (EISA) since six years and their main goal is to engage scholars focusing on similar topics in a sustained, in-depth discussion. EWIS participants usually spend two or three days working within closed small groups of a few people and focusing on precisely defined problems. Due to the very specific small group workshops format that differs from classic conferences, EWIS has proven to be a popular and productive place, perfect for preparing special issues, edited volumes or exploring new ideas, themes and directions in a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.
The unique EWIS Programme is each year designed by two distinguished scholars. This year’s Programme was devised by representing EISA – Dr Maria Mälksoo from the Kent University and Prof. Artur Gruszczak from the Jagiellonian University. Moreover, this year’s workshops, entitled „The Next 100 Years of International Relations”, did not only mark the 100th anniversary of International Relations discipline but also refer to the ongoing transformation of the international order.
On the first day of this year’s EWIS, following the official opening, two plenary roundtables took place. The EWIS ceremony was opened by Prof. Gruszczak. Among these who took the floor after him were the President of EISA – Dr Victoria Basham (Cardiff University), the President of Polish Association for International Studies (PTSM) - Prof. Edward Haliżak (University of Warsaw) and the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of International and Political Studies – Prof. Paweł Laidler.
The first roundtable was entitled „What we have learnt?” and focused on the history and development of the discipline. The session was moderated by Prof. Artur Gruszczak. Among speakers who took part in it were scholars from Austrian Studies Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Université de Montréal, King’s College London, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. Additionally, one of the participants was Dr Magdalena Góra from the Jagiellonian University. The second roundtable „The Next 100 Years of IR: How To?” was focused on the question about the next 100 years of IR and moderated by Dr Maria Mälksoo. Among speakers of the second roundtable were scholars form the University of Oxford, University of St Andrews, Danish Institute for International Studies, Webster University in Vienna as well as Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
The next two days, EWIS participants spent on discussing their projects and planning their next activities in workshop-groups. This year’s workshops did not only cover diverse research topics but also reflect the EWIS umbrella theme, mentioned during the plenary roundtables – „The Next 100 Years of IR”.
It is worth of mentioning that, according to the Jagiellonian Univeriristy organizing team’s standpoint, one of this year’s goal of EWIS was to engage as many Polish participants as possible. It was of paramount importance to make EWIS accessible for scholars from Polish universities. Hitherto, EWIS have been characterized by rather limited participation of the Polish academics. Comparatively to 2018, in 2019 thirtyfold increase of Polish participants was noted, which means that this year 10% of all participants were representing Polish universities and research centers. Moreover, in 2018 none of the workshops’ proposals was submitted by a Polish scholar, whereas in 2019 four workshops were convened or co-convened by Polish academics.
The accomplishment of this event was possible due to initiative, engagement and support of the European International Studies Association. One has to mention here that the Jagiellonian University’s measures necessary to become one of EWIS hosts were strongly supported by Prof. Anna Wojciuk (the University of Warsaw) – the only member of the EISA Governing Board who is affiliated to East Central Europe institution.
Moreover, the EWIS organization was supported by the Polish Association for International Studies, which would not be possible without a strong advocacy of its President – Prof. Haliżak and assistance of the Kraków Branch’s President – Prof. Andrzej Mania. Additionally, the City of Kraków also appreciated the event and provided it with financial support.
The very specific character of EWIS required us to organize event infrastructure and facilities including assembly hall (up to 300 people) for the plenary session and around thirty multimedia rooms for the next two days of workshops. Because of the building renovation at Reymonta 4, the Faculty of International and Political Studies would not be able to offer conference venues autonomously, therefore the project would not be successfully accomplished without the assistance of Prof. Elżbieta Górska (the Dean of the Philological Faculty), Prof. Władysław Witalisz (the Vice-dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration), Prof. Jerzy Pisuliński (the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration) and Prof. Michał Wierzchoń (The Director of the Institute of Psychology).
One has to mention here also a very professional support of buildings’ administrators: Łukasz Żuraw (the Institute of Psychology’s building), Michał Pękala (the Philological Faculty’s building), Michał Krupa (Auditorium Maximum) as well as the staff of Didactic Centre of the Faculty of Law and Administration.
Additionally, the success of this project clearly shows the importance of cooperation between diverse University’s units. The JU’s organizing team consisted of people from three different units: Prof. Gruszczak (the Department of National Security), Dr Magdalena Kozub-Karkut (Department of Theory of Politics and State) as well as Prof. Mania and Dr Tomasz Pugacewicz (Chair in the Diplomatic History and International Politics). The project was additionally supported by authorities of the Institute of Political Studies and International Relations and the Faculty of International and Political Studies, especially by the Vice-dean for Educational Affairs – Prof. Laidler.
Finally, the project was backed by student volunteers – mainly political science students, students of MA in International Security and Development (ISAD) and BA in International Relations and Area Studies (IRAS) as well as PhD students of the Institute of Political Studies and International Relations. Thank you very much for your engagement and dedication in making EWIS at the Jagiellonian University one to remember.