History of the Institute

Institute for Social Research in Zagreb (IDIZ) is the first sociological research institution established in Croatia. It was founded by the University of Zagreb Council on 21st April 1964 following the proposal of Adolf Dragičević, Ph.D., Mirko Martić, Ph.D., prof. Milan Prelog, Ph.D., prof. Rudi Supek, Ph.D. and prof. Mladen Zvonarević, Ph.D. It was first known as Institute for Social and Sociological Research. As of 29th January 1965 up to 1993 it was known as Institute of Social Research, University of Zagreb (IDIS), when it was renamed Institute for Social Research in Zagreb due to the change in the status from a university institute to a public institute.

From its beginning the Institute focuses on studies in sociology and related disciplines, thus nurturing interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research. At that time most of the research was conducted by teaching staff from all of the Universities in Croatia. Ever since 1974 the Institute has grown into an institution that employs and develops its own research staff. Due to such approach and programme orientation in time IDIS integrated two more focused units: in 1968 A Bureau for Mediterranean Regional Project (higher education) and in 1972 Department for Rural Sociology from the Institute of Agriculture and Rural Sociology. Today the Institute is incorporated into a network of several research institutions.

Originally the Institute consisted of seven departments (Department for Fundamental Sociological Research, Department for Demographic Research, Department for Research on Settlement and Urbanism, Department for Management Research, Department for Higher Education Research, Department for Public Opinion Surveys, and Department for Sociology of Spare Time), and developed further by adding another five departments before 1972 – Department for Research of Atheism and Religion, Department for Research on Social Pathology, Department of Industrial Sociology, Department for Social Anthropology, Department for Rural Sociology). At the end of 1973 it was restructured into three units: Centre for Social Research (seven departments); Centre for Educational Research and Centre for Urban, Rural and Sociology of Space. After 1976 the research was organised in work groups for specific fields or a few related fields together. Today the active work groups covering the topics of Sociology of Religion, Sociology of Science and Technology, Urban, Rural and Sociology of Space, Group for Youth Research and Educational Research and Development are gathered in four research centres: the Centre for Research in Social Inequalities and Sustainability (CRiSIS), the Centre for Educational Research and Development (CERD), the Urban/Rural and Science Research Centre (URSRC) and the Centre for Youth and Gender Studies (CYGS). Separate units include analytical services, a specialized library and a prolific publication unit.

IDIS/IDIZ conducted research in various scientific disciplines in the fields of social structures, family, youth, education, culture, spare time, science and technology, religion, space (rural and urban), pathology, demography, management, public opinion surveys, research of global social system, industrial sociology, defence, tourism, political system, lottery games, as well as research on developmental sociology, sociology of old age, and bibliographic research. In a number of these fields IDIS played a significant role in the development of the scientific research in Croatia (IDIS being the birthplace of some of these fields), and in some of them especially rural sociology, research of the social system and the sociology of science and technology, in the former Yugoslavia, as well.

The Institutes’ researchers participate in undergraduate as well as postgraduate teaching and IDIS was a founder and an organizer of three postgraduate courses: the first postgraduate course in sociology in Croatia in 1967 in cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, an interdisciplinary postgraduate course Theory of Atheism and Religion in 1967 in cooperation with the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb and Urbanism and Spatial planning in 1969 in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb.

The Institute was an organiser or coorganizer of several international scientific conferences: Conference Internationale de Sociologie Religieuse (Opatija, 1971), First International Conference on Participation and Self-Management (Dubrovnik, 1972), International Round-table on Education (Trogir, 1987), New Technologies in Public Administration (Zagreb, 1987), Housing between State and Market (Dubrovnik, 1988), International Conference Religion and Patterns of Social Transformation (Zagreb, 2001), XXVIII International Society for the Sociology of Religion Conference (Zagreb, 2005), workshop Women in Science and Technology – Sociology of Science and Technology Network of the European Sociological Association (Zagreb, 2008), Days of Educational Sciences (Zagreb, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018), International Conference on Migration, Integration and Religion in Early Childhood Education (Zagreb, 2018). Among domestic scientific meetings, the ones on education (1968-1972) and the annual meetings on rural sociology are the most prominent.

The inter-institute and international scientific cooperation is systemically nurtured – IDIS played a role of the focal point for international cooperation in social science for 14 years.

The IDIZ library, holds about 35 000 volumes, rural sociology and sociology of religion are the most extensively covered. It is open to research and academic public.

IDIZ is the publisher of the Sociologija Sela (Rural Sociology Journal), since 1963, the oldest Croatian sociological journal and one of the few journals in the world in this field. Since 2007, after 43 years of publishing, Rural Sociology changed its name to Sociologija i prostor (Sociology and Space). The reason for this change is the attempt to broaden the scope of the journal, since the interest in the research area of rural sociology has slowly had its decline. IDIZ is also the publisher of a number of series: Studies and Reports, Rural Sociology, IDIS Edition, Man and the System and currently Science and Society and Special Editions. It was a co-publisher of the journal of the Croatian Sociological Society’s, Sociological Review. IDIZ has also published a number of titles by associated experts.