The primary purpose of the Institute of International Studies is to progress interdisciplinary research on international economic, political, social and cultural processes. The research undertaken at the Institute also focuses on various aspects of international security including economic, political, ecological and military features of international relations. Moreover, the objective of the Institute is to translate the scientific inquiries into educational programs and present the most up-to-date knowledge to students, as well as provide analyses of contemporary topics to the general public. The director of the Institute is Prof. Dr Hab. Katarzyna Żukrowska.
The Institute of International Studies, in its current structure, was established in 1996, as a transformation of the Developing Countries Unit (previously the Unit of Developing Countries' Economies) funded in 1962 by the Professor Michał Kalecki. The new name of the Institute reflected the evolution of research directions which had been increasingly reoriented to the world economy, globalization and EU integration.