Brief history of the Political Science Department


The origin of the Political Science Department of University of Szeged along with the education of political science dates back in 1921. The first professor of ”politics” was Pál Szandtner (1884-1963), who was followed by many well-knowned and respected scholars and researchers, like Ödön Polner or István Bibó.

In 1949, the Hungarian Scientific Council appointed György Antalffy as public special educator. As a consequence, a new era had begun in the life of the Faculty and the education of political science. Until that time the legal philosophy and politics was provided by two separate departments, since the ‘50s only the theory of state and legal theory was educated by the Department, led by György Antalffy, until the ‘90s. The education of politics was terminated; the discipline had no department, albeit the Theory of State and Law Department provided a “History of political and legal doctrines” course. The framework and task to educate some politically relevant questions was handed over to the Scientific Socialism Department, where in 1985 the education of political sciences had begun as a separated, non-mandatory course. Few scholars of the Department led the course under a previously determined schedule.

The appointment of László J. Nagy as a Head of Department (1986) and the expressed intention to change the name of the Department in 1987 were the first moments of changes. This effort reached its goal in 1988, when the Department changed its profile and renamed itself to: Theory of Politics and History of Present Era Department.

Following the regime change, the Theory of Politics and History of Present Era Department was attached to the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences. In 1992, Péter Paczolay took over the position of the Head of the Department from László J. Nagy, who meanwhile moved to the Faculty of Arts. Since then the Department is integrated into the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, and Political Science Department - echoing the former Department’s name - provides the education of “Theory of State” and “Political Science” courses in Law curriculum, and has its own Political Sciences BA and MA program.


This project is funded under the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme