In 1957, the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the Institute of International Politics and Economics (IIPE). In the course of the 1960s, a number of the Institute’s researchers took part in the reform process which peaked during the Prague Spring of 1968. As a result, the IIPE was reorganized and on 1st March 1970 turned into the Institute of International Relations (IIR) which employed some of the late IIPE’s employees.

The following period of so-called normalization was characterized, especially in its first years, by strong ideological influence on the Institute’s activities. Nevertheless, the Institute continued maintaining relations with abroad, including the capitalist countries. Also the library played an important role, as its funds comprised also resources which were nowhere else to be found in the then Czechoslovakia).

The fall of communism meant important personnel, as well as organizational changes also for the Institute of International Relations. In 1993, the scholarly quarterly journal Mezinarodni vztahy which had been issued already since 1966, was joined by the Perspectives bi-annual published in English, and the portfolio of periodicals was gradually supplemented also by the popular Mezinarodni politika monthly, issued – albeit with a 20 year interrruption – already since 1957. The IIR also grew bigger, as it acquired two new autonomous units – the Diplomatic Academy (which became a separate body within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1st January 2007) and the Development Centre.

In the year of the 50th anniversary of the Institute, the IIR underwent a transformation and turned into a public research institution.