The primary objective of the Institute for Political Science of MTA Centre for Social Sciences is to conduct basic research in political science. Researchers at the Institute conduct both theoretical and empirical research, and the results are disseminated to both the academic and general public at scientific and professional forums. The Institute’s activities specifically focus on the following three objectives:
Firstly, it aims to investigate Hungarian national political processes and institutions, employing the most up-to-date methodologies which meet international standards. It is important to research national phenomena through comparative studies, with a view to regional and European perspectives.
Secondly, the Institute plays an important role in the development of political science in Hungary by introducing new trends and shaping the international network of Hungarian political science. This is enhanced by the Institute’s involvement in developing university master’s and doctoral training programmes.
Thirdly, as an academic institution, we also aim to contribute to salient current research debates at the international level. By doing so, the Institute successfully participates in the European scientific sphere and emerging institutional system.
The Institute undertakes basic research in political science around three large thematic areas in three research departments.
The first theme addresses the question of political behaviour, political institutions and processes (parties, campaigns, electoral behaviour, political values, and leadership). The second theme addresses the issue of governance and public policy (government performance, public management reforms, public policy processes). The third theme is democracy and political theory (empirical, normative and analytical democracy theories, constitutions and political institutions, the relationship between government and civil society, accountability and the delegation of power).
The Institute also conducts applied and public policy oriented research in various political fields either ordered by the government or funded through EU projects. In the past few years, the Institute has managed projects on rural, environmental, agricultural and energy policy.
Beyond research, the Institute provides a forum for domestic political science discussions by organising conferences, supplies infrastructural background for the Hungarian Political Science Association, and edits the Review of Political Science, which is the most important and cited journal of political science in Hungary.
Our researchers also take part in the popularisation of science by organising conferences for the wider public and publishing essays and books promoting science.