Department of Political Science
The Department of Political Science was founded in September 1990 and is one of the youngest departments at Comenius University’s Faculty of Arts. It was political changes after 1989 which created conditions for the science of politics to constitute itself as an independent academic discipline not only at the faculty, but also in Slovakia. The first head of the department was Prof. M. Kusý, who, after two decades of political persecution, returned to the university. Prof. M. Kusý’s personal authority and international acclaim laid good foundations for a new department when no graduates of political science were available in Slovakia. This fact was mirrored in the composition of the department which, on the basis of personal interviews, hired graduates of sociology, philosophy and history.
These teachers retrained to teach courses in a new field through attending international summer schools and making study trips to universities in the USA, the Netherlands and Great Britain, as well as through active involvement in international research collaborations. At present, the department boasts of a dynamic rejuvenated team composed mainly of graduates of political science who received their education from universities in Slovakia and abroad. The department’s faculty are often invited as speakers to international conferences, go on lecture trips abroad and receive scholarships to stay and conduct research at prominent universities and research institutions abroad, which confirms the international recognition that the current faculty of the department are enjoying.
For the twenty-five years of its existence, the department has succeeded in laying good foundations for high-quality teaching and research in a field that is still one of the youngest social sciences. Despite its relatively small size in terms of the number of full-time teachers, the Department of Political Science is nowadays, given its faculty’s wide involvement in research activities at home and abroad, membership in international political studies associations and publications in prominent domestic and international indexed journals, a centre of Slovak political studies. The department as a whole is successful at striking a balance between its teaching and research activities while taking into consideration the individual dispositions of teachers.