The fundamental mission of the Institute is developing and disseminating theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge and skills required for scientific and professional interpretation and evaluation of contemporary international relations which affect various human activities and related developmental trends important for the Republic of Croatia. Development tendencies are observed in the local, regional, European and global context.
In its scientific and professional work the Institute focuses on various forms of interconnections between international relations and political, economic and socio-cultural development tendencies. The focus of the research is defined in the Institute’s Development Strategy 2017-2022 (Croatian).
The Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) was founded by the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce on 21 May 1963 as the Africa Research Institute. Its research focus evolved from the study of post-colonial Africa, through the developing countries of Asia and Latin America and finally towards the global development processes. This was followed by changes in the research program and the name of the Institute. The Institute changed its name in 1971 to the Institute for Developing Countries. The change of the Institute’s research focus and the underlying work program were reflected three more times: in 1989 it changed its name to the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO); in 1996 it changed its name to the Institute for International Relations (IRMO); and in 2013 it changed its name back to the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO).
These changes corresponded with different developmental periods of the Institute. The first focused on the study of post-colonial Africa, intense social and economic changes, and the specific culture and civilization of the continent, previously poorly understood in our society. The focus on the historical and structural changes that characterized a large number of newly established and newly liberated countries widened the research interests in the second period to all the developing countries. The globalization of development processes, networking and regional integration all lead to increased interest in the processes of stronger international interaction, particularly the European integration process. In the nineties, with the establishment of the Republic of Croatia, research programmes focussed broadly on international relations, European integration processes, the position of transitional post-socialist countries and the global context marked by the issues of environmental sustainability, security, trade, communication and cultural development.
Fifty years of scientific work of the Institute for Development and International Relations reflects various development dynamics and fluctuating international connections worldwide. The Institute’s research often preceded changes in the environment in which it operated. Most research programs were, and still are, characterized by interdisciplinarity and research flexibility. The independence of the individual research is respected and successful team work and cooperation of national and international research teams is encouraged. The Institute is proud of the successful teams and individuals, many of whom continued their careers at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, in diplomacy, politics and entrepreneurship.