The Institute of Political Science was established on October 1, 1975. It emerged as a separate entity from the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Political Science. In 1978, it was renamed as the Institute of Political Science and Journalism, and it kept operating under this name until 2019. Then, on 1 October 2019, the unit returned to its roots, restoring its original name.
As part of the scientific research carried out, the Institute works primarily with researchers from two regions: the Mediterranean Basin and Central and Eastern Europe. Its output includes numerous scientific internships, study visits, publications and research projects. It has also started working with researchers from Norway, USA and Taiwan.
Currently, the Institute pursues basic research in two directions, and the results are actively applied in the environment of the University of Silesia, as well as internationally. The first area involves anti-corruption activities. The following research projects have been carried out at the Institute in relation to it: Counteracting corruption in local self-government entities (2015), Corruption in administration (2016), and Political corruption (2017). An Integrated Anti-Corruption Protection System has been developed on the basis of the research conducted (including studies published in high-scoring journals), and it is being implemented in nationwide and international local government, business and educational entities. The second area of research involves the prevention of depopulation, which is a major problem in the Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin region, but also a matter of concern for Polish cities and other European countries. The research includes analyses of depopulation sources, designing expert opinions to stop unfavourable trends, undertaking international cooperation aimed at exchanging experiences, and implementing projects to strengthen young people’s attachment to the region (e.g. the University of the Best).
Silesia is the European cross-border region that has registered a significant decline of population in last 30 years. The phenomenon of depopulation within the Upper Silesian conurbation is even more visible, because it is one of the most urbanized areas in Poland. The sources of this phenomenon can be departure of its residents to Western European, internal migration (especially moving from cities to rural areas), the prevalence of deaths over live births, changing the family model and the lack of social security. According to the forecast of the Central Statistical Office in Poland, by 2030 most conurbation cities will lose over 8% of the population, while rural regions in the southern part of the region will gain over 10% of new residents. The process of depopulation of post-industrial cities and population of rural areas is currently one of the most important phenomena characterizing the region and one of the most important research problems. Therefore the Institute of Political Science of the University of Silesia in Katowice is searching for a person with experience in the study, grants and publications of depopulation processes to join comparative research works.
Silesia is a typical European cross-border region. That is why it is a special area in which studies of migratory movements always have had a great importance. It can be assumed that the history of Silesia is inseparably connected with the history of various national groups who over several centuries have been arriving here and transforming the social, political, economic and cultural reality of the region. In the beginning of the 20th century the part of Upper Silesia has become a part of the reborn Polish state. But in 1945 Poland has experienced another, significant changes of borders that has affected Silesia and its inhabitants in a very serious way. The process of intensive and tragic migrations was observed in Silesia at the period between 1945 and 1948. In two decades of the 1970s and 1980s many Silesians have left the region (without the possibility of return), going mainly to West Germany. At the same time, many migrants from other parts of Poland have come to Silesia, as well as to the Dąbrowa Basin, in search of well-paid jobs in heavy industry. Currently, in times of intensive migration movements in Europe, Silesia is still an attractive region. For this reason, the importance of migratory movements in the region for social, political, economic and cultural processes in contemporary Europe is an interesting and actual research problem. It is also an important topic in the context of the progressive depopulation of the Silesian conurbation. Therefore the Institute of Political Science of the University of Silesia in Katowice is searching for a person with experience in the study, grants and publications of migratory processes to join comparative research works.
One of the main areas of the implementation studies conducted at the Institute of Political Science involves anti-corruption research. The activity of experts from the IPS in the field of counteracting various forms of corruption is important both in terms of activity aimed at improving the functioning of public institutions, but also – as a consequence – in terms of increasing civic institutional trust, which has been low for many years.
The research initiatives and scientific explorations undertaken by IPS employees have developed a strong foundation of trust in the external environment, at a regional, national and international level. As a result, our experts are invited to cooperate and provide consultancy within the framework of watchdog activities implemented in local government and business entities. Our employees are regularly invited to conduct anti-corruption training in external environment entities.
Drawing on his own research and experience, University of Silesia Professor Waldemar Wojtasik, PhD, created an Integrated Anti-Corruption Protection System. It contains an analysis of the status quo, taking into account the conditions contributing to the level of corruption risks. On this basis, measures are proposed to control the corruption risk level, with a focus on active management. This combines influencing awareness, shaping the expected ethical attitudes, and a system of normative safeguards. Apart from having a preventive function, this approach also makes it possible to respond to the risk of a corruption incident occurring, e.g. through the procedures in place for notifying about legitimate suspicions.
The IACPS also includes activities directly addressed to institutions’ employees. The agent in corruption is the human individual, and their awareness, knowledge, strong psychological attitude, and internal canons of integrity and diligence are precisely the starting points that should be adopted for anti-corruption activities. The IACPS is implemented by University of Silesia employees. They are people with extensive experience with regard to the design and implementation of anti-corruption systems in private-owned and state-owned businesses, public offices and other bodies, as well as with regard to working with entities experienced in the field of corruption prevention (e.g. the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Sejm’s Bureau of Analyses). The team is composed of lawyers, economists and management specialists. They engage in corruption prevention in practice, but also carry out scientific and research work supporting the planned educational and preventive programmes.
The international area of implementation of anti-corruption tools includes the implementation of European regulations and certified anti-corruption training for Polish representations of US and British companies, as well as companies working with entities from the UK and the USA. They comply with the requirements of the UK Bribery Act and of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and constitute, in an increasingly large number of cases, a basic condition to be met in order to undertake business and administrative cooperation. Following the entry into force of the UK Bribery Act and of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the competent bodies may prosecute corruption offences committed when negotiating international transactions. The operating mechanism is simple – a company operating in the USA or in the UK may be held responsible for the actions of its subsidiaries, also outside the respective countries’ jurisdiction. Consequently, foreign business partners may be liable for possible corruption activities perpetrated on their behalf in any country in the world, including Poland.