Joint letter of support for the CEU



April 2, 2017


Mr. Zoltán Balog
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.


Dear Minister Balog,

By coincidence, representatives of the major International Studies associations in the world (see Addendum) have met in the context of the General Assembly of the “World International Studies Committee” on April 2nd, 2017 right at the time when legislative changes in your country have been publicized that would affect the status of the Central European University in Hungary and that might have negative consequences for academic freedom and research in all Hungarian universities. WISC and its member associations are profoundly concerned about these developments because this undermines some of the core values, which WISC and its members are committed to promote globally.

Over the last decades, the CEU has achieved a global reputation for teaching and research in the social sciences and humanities. It is a success story, which Hungary can be very proud of. Thousands of students have come to Budapest from all over the world in order to learn from and meet with fellow students from Hungary, while getting to know their host country. In our field of International Relations, the CEU has put Hungary on the global map by its faculty, students and their research. It has become a hub that helped academia in Hungary to better interact with the world – and vice versa. It hosted some of our association meetings in the past and, together with ELTE, currently hosts the highly recognized “Journal of International Relations and Development” of one of our member associations, the Central and East European International Studies Association’s (CEEISA).

The CEU is an integral part of the Hungarian and global scientific landscape. Any changes that undermine its present work would be highly counterproductive for the development of research in Hungary and elsewhere. It would stop the good work of academics for no scholarly reason. It would be a clear signal to the international academic community that undermines the credibility of Hungarian research at large.

The law was proposed with no prior consultations with the institutions concerned, even without notification or responses to numerous inquiries.

We respectfully urge the government of Hungary to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consultations with CEU for whatever administrative issues there be, and to guarantee the academic freedom that allows the CEU to pursue its work in Hungary.


Yours sincerely,

Gunther Hellmann
President, WISC


Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary;
Office of the Prime Minister;
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport;
Central European University;
Member Associations of WISC

Prof. Dr. Gunther Hellmann
President, World International Studies Committee
c/o Goethe University
Institute of Political Science, Box 24
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main / Germany






Argentine Federal Council for International Studies (CoFEI)
Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA)
Austrian Political Science Association - International Relations Section (AuPSA - IR)
Brazilian Association for International Relations (ABRI)
British International Studies Association (BISA)
Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA)
Chilean Association of International Specialist (ACHE)
Colombian International Relations Network (REDINTERCOL)
European International Studies Association (EISA)
Finnish International Studies Association (FISA)
German Political Science Association (DVPW)
International Studies Association (ISA)
Israeli Association of International Studies (IAIS)
Italian Political Science Association (SISP)
Japan Association of International Relations (JAIR)
Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO)
Mexican International Studies Association (AMEI)
Nordic International Studies Association (NISA)
Philippine International Studies Organization (PhISO)
Polish International Studies Association (PTSM)
Portuguese Political Science Association (APCP)
Russian International Studies Association (RISA)
South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS)
Taiwan Association of International Relations (TAIR)
Turkish Political Science Association (SITD)