The Student Section of the International Institute of Political Science (SSIIPS) is a university association that unites active students of political science and other related fields of study. The main reason for its existence is the professional development of its members, which is supported through discussions and lectures by experts, politicians, and other interesting personalities from around the world. This allows students to gain experience in the environment they will likely be working in after graduating. For example, members have an opportunity to establish new contacts or to fully express themselves through active participation in the association’s projects.
Our most established project is Masaryk’s debates, an oxford-style debate on a specific thesis debated by two opposing teams. In addition to that, we regularly hold the Round Tables, Debates on the Czech Foreign Policy, and other types of conferences and discussions. At the same time, we offer our members a rich internal program focused on team building. The Student Section of the IIPS also organizes frequent excursions to various institutions, mainly international organizations and embassies. We are constantly working on new projects and, of course, on making the regular ones even better.
The history of the IIPS Student Section can be traced back to the spring of 1998. Back then, the atmosphere of student life at the faculty was different than today. There were no student sections or associations, there were no lectures outside the classroom, and the only place that students could go to debate were pubs.
This is what a group of students led by Stanislav Kadečka, Stanislav Balík, Ivo Pospíšil and Jan Rakušan decided to change. They wanted to create a platform that would allow students to meet, discuss, invite various experts and hold conferences. Thus, the Student Section was formed. Stanislav Kadečka became the head of the Executive Board and was later replaced by Stanislav Balík, the current Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University. Stanislav Balík remained in the position until 2002, when the management of the Student Section was handed over to the next generation of students. It should also be mentioned that since its inception, the Student Section has been closely associated with the International Institute of Political Science (IIPS).
Among the first events organized by the Student Section was a series of debates on the phenomenon of globalization and a discussion on the arrest of Augusto Pinochet. It is necessary to realize that, at the time, it was not common for foreign guests or guest speakers to come at the time, and it was a great success even if an expert from Prague came to discuss the topic. The first significant event organized by the Student Section was a conference on nationalist political parties in Europe. This conference responded to the participation of the Free Party of Austria in the then Austrian government.