Political ScienceJune 14, 2022 2022-12-27 22:08
Any contemporary political community feels urged to scholarly analyse and develop its political thought, as well as political figures, and the Republic of Srpska is, undoubtedly, one such community. By virtue of the complex structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the product of the General Framework Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina, reached in the town of Dayton (USA) on 21 November 1995 and signed in Paris (France) on 14 December 1995, the Republic of Srpska is guaranteed a high degree of political autonomy in terms of creating and implementing numerous policies, both at the national and international level. As a result of this political and educational autonomy, in 2007 the Study Programme of Political Science was established.
This immediately put it in the spotlight of the general public, with a great number of members of staff offering analyses of domestic and international political affairs in media, which made the social role of this study programme self-evident. It came out of the necessity for building and strengthening of the political system and thought of the Republic of Srpska and its international and geopolitical position, which called for the establishment of an academic institution responding to the aforementioned challenges in an objective, professional, and unbiassed fashion.
This task was entrusted with the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Banja Luka, whose staff, unselfishly aided by the staff of the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade, in the first place Prof. Nenad Kecmanovic, PhD, Prof. Milan Jovanovic, PhD, Prof. Vukasin Pavlovic, PhD, Prof. Cedomir Cupic, PhD, and Prof. Ilija Vujacic, PhD, managed to found and license this study programme.
Thus, as early as in 2007, the first class of students enrolled at the undergraduate studies, initiating the process of satisfying the growing needs of the political ambience of the Republic of Srpska for professionals in terms of scholarly, political, and other social challenges. Apart from that, there were practical issues as well, reflected in the fact that students interested in the field went to other countries to acquire their degrees, mostly to Republic of Serbia.
Only two years after its establishment, it became the hub around which complementary study programmes gathered, which resulted in the establishment of the Faculty of Political Sciences in 2009.
Ever since it was formed, it has been one of the most popular study programmes at the University. Until this day, 724 students have attended it, of whom 274 graduated. It started as a 3-year programme, to be re-licensed in 2010 as a 4-year one.
Speaking of the second cycle, there are currently three course routes: Political Science Studies, International Studies, and Local Self-Government Studies, with respective figures of enrolled and graduated students of 53/8, 147/20, and 4/0. Since the academic year of 2018/2019, there has also been the master’s programme of Public Administration and Policies.
The third cycle was launched in 2017, upon meeting the demanding criteria in terms of staff and material conditions. It is licensed under the title of Doctoral Studies for research areas of Sociology, Political Science, Social Work and Social Policies, and Media Studies. There were 14 candidates in the first class, of whom 9 chose the area of Political Science.
With regard to the number and structure of staff at the Study Programme, there are currently 11 professors and 1 teaching assistant, which is enough to entirely meet the requirements of the curriculum concerning the field of political science at the first cycle, and, for the most part, the other two cycles. This makes it one of the most equipped ones at the University with regard to domestic staff.
Apart from the currently employed members of staff, there are 2 professors emeritus engaged at the study programme. One of them is Prof. Nenad Kecmanovic, PhD, the first Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and one of the most prominent figures in terms of the preserving and developing of political science in the Republic of Srpska. The other one is Prof. Emil Vlajki, PhD, a long-standing lecturer at numerous domestic and world universities, but also a former Vice-President of the Republic of Srpska.
In addition to human resources, the Study Programme of Political Science is equally well-equipped in technical terms, which ensures the high quality of educational process. As a result, the Study Programme features high educational aims and criteria. They are in accordance with the best global practices and standards of preparing students to work in the fields of political science and international relations.
Over the course of their undergraduate studies, students are prepared to actively participate in the society through their engagement in the state administration apparatus, in educational and scientific institutions, in the field of political communications, marketing, political party and election engineering, etc. Additionally, during their studies, students develop critical awareness, analytical thinking, and an inter-disciplinary approach to scientific and academic challenges. This type of learning framework provides students with practical knowledge implementation and personal professional realisation.
Educational objectives of the Study Programme of Political Science at graduate studies are directed towards a more comprehensive scientific and research work and towards disseminating their previously gained knowledge. The students that complete one of the modules of the post-graduate studies may expect to achieve better competence for scientific work. Adopting a quality methodological apparatus as regards scientific research is especially insisted on. In this case, it is supervisors that carry a great burden of responsibity, since it is their obligation to offer proper guidance in this respect.
The PhD studies were initiated in 2017, with a view to educating future professionals that are to occupy significant social roles in the world of science or politics, managing human resources at faculties, educating the future profiles of political scientists, and strengthening the intellectual basis of the society in which we live and work.
The Study Programme of Political Science, in wide terms, belongs to the scientific fields of social science and political science. The narrow scientific fields represented within the scientific field of political science are the following: theory in politics, political systems, political communication, and international relations and security.