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ESA logo

The idea of creating a European Sociological Association (ESA) dates back to 1987. After being legally established in 1994, the ESA was formally introduced to sociologists from all over Europe in 1995, during its second conference in Budapest. The ESA is a non-profit making association registered under French law since 2001. After a few years at SISWO in Amsterdam, the ESA office is located in Paris, where over the years it has had several host institutions. Since 2015, the ESA office operates from within the headquarters of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH). In 2016, ESA restructured its headquarters operations. It took over further responsibilities in organising conferences. Since then, ESA engages two employees.

The European Sociological Association provides an international platform for European sociologists as well as sociologists worldwide. The ESA aims to facilitate sociological research, teaching and communication between sociologists and between sociologists and other scientists, and to give sociology a voice in European affairs. The ESA intends to cultivate an influence on the development of European academic life and the formation of the younger generation of sociologists. This is evidenced by the thriving activities of the ESA’s Research Networks, the ESA journals European Societies and European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology as well as the ESA conferences.

To this day, the ESA is made up of 37 Research Networks and over 2800 members. The ESA has held biennial conferences in various locations all over Europe.


Jagiellonian University

Jagiellonian University logo

The Kraków University is the oldest higher education institution in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded on 12 May 1364 by the Polish king Casimir the Great. The Studium Generale – as the University was then called – comprised three faculties: of liberal arts, medicine and law. Only the former two were active during the founder's life. After the king's death, the University ceased to exist.

Following the failed attempts to restore it in the 1390s, the University was re-founded by King Vladislaus Jagiełło on 26 July 1400. Queen Jadwiga, who died in 1399, contributed to the restoration by leaving a considerable portion of her private estate to the University in her last will. The University's structure was already complete in 1397, with the formal establishment of the faculty of theology. The oldest, main college was at first called the Royal Jagiellonian College (Collegium Regium), and then the Greater College (Collegium Maius). The University, located in the then capital of the Kingdom of Poland, never again interrupted its educational and scholarly activity. Not only does it constitute a symbol of continuity of the Polish state, but also places Kraków among the most important educational centres in the country.
Today the University employs more than 540 professors, 730 associate professors, 2,600 other academic staff and over 3,500 administrative staff, while providing education to about 50 thousand students. Therefore, the impression that an institution like ours creates, must properly reflect its presence in the social life of Poland, its timelessness and unwavering symbolism. We constantly improve and expand our infrastructure to create an ever better environment for scholarly research, teaching and learning. Funds for the abovementioned investments are acquired from various sources, e.g. the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the European Union, the Municipality of Kraków, the Civic Committe for the Restoration of Kraków Heritage Sites as well as the University itself (Krzysztof Stopka, Director of the JU Museum).

If you want to learn more about the history of Jagiellonian University go to or visit the JU Museum located in Collegium Maius. It is the oldest university building in Poland and has become a home to the old University collections, as well as significant number of scientific instruments. JU Museum website:


Institute of Sociology

Institute of Sociology logo

The history of Krakow's university sociology dates back to the late nineteenth century. After changing turns of various initiatives, in 1930, the Chair of Ethnology and Sociology was created, headed first by prof. Jan Stanisław Bystroń, and later by prof. Kazimierz Dobrowolski.

This unit was transformed in 1957 into the Department of General Ethnography and Sociology, and Kazimierz Dobrowolski remained its head. In particular, the mainstream method of integral method and historical and cultural studies were developed, as well as the perspective of social anthropology represented by prof: Andrzej Waligórski - a student of Bronisław Malinowski. In the same 1957, the Department of Sociology and Demography was founded, headed by prof. Paweł Rybicki and focused on socio-structural and population issues (the latter was mainly undertaken by doc. Wanda Czarkowska).

In 1970, the two departments merged, and the Institute of Sociology was created. Its directors were successively: Władysław Kwaśniewicz, Piotr Sztompka, Andrzej K. Paluch, Tadeusz Borkowski, Zdzisław Mach, Krzysztof Frysztacki, Marian Niezgoda, Marek Kucia and (currently) Marcin Lubaś.

In 2020, the Institute of Sociology of the Jagiellonian University celebrates its 50th birthday.