As of January 1, 2024, the John Lukacs Institute was established at the Ludovika University of Public Service (LUPS) under the auspices of the Eötvös József Research Center, amalgamating three former institutes of the university (America Research Institute, Institute of Strategic Studies, Institute of Strategic Defense Research).
The institute is named after John Lukacs, a Hungarian-born historian whose intellectual legacy is of immeasurable value to global historical scholarship. As a legendary instructor at the History Department of Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania and as a visiting professor at Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and Princeton University from 1946 until his death in 2019, Lukacs influenced multiple generations. His thinking and writings left a lasting impact on both American and European historical and political thought. Throughout his lifetime, he responded insightfully to developments in the international political system and changes in great power relations.
In line with this legacy, the John Lukacs Institute aims to use its research findings and publications to help understand strategic issues in the escalating great power competition from a Hungarian perspective. This includes the driving forces behind international politics, with a special emphasis on transatlantic relations, as well as international security challenges. As a university institute, it is crucial for these results to seamlessly integrate into the bloodstream of the university and the international academic, research, and educational spheres.
The primary task of the John Lukacs Institute is to organise and implement strategic research and programs concerning Hungary's international relations. Its main research area is the historical understanding of systemic changes, particularly through the lens of great power competition and the derivation of strategic and security policy implications. The institute operates individual research programs for specific highlighted areas, giving special attention to the America Research Program and the Strategic Defense Research Program, which build upon previous research efforts. Additionally, the institute conducts international consultations, conferences, and workshops. The research director of the John Lukacs Institute is Balázs Mártonffy, an expert in international relations and security policy and the former leader of the America Research Institute.
The program director of the John Lukacs Institute, Gergely Prőhle, former ambassador to Berlin and Bern and former head of the Institute of Strategic Studies (STI), is responsible for the substantive development of the Nations of Europe Career Program, preparing for European Union public service.
Another highlighted educational project is the College of Visegrad+ program, with the long-term goal of establishing a leadership training program at Ludovika, focusing on young leaders from the Visegrád Cooperation countries. In the short term, through the organisation of smaller weekend universities, the program aims to familiarise young people and future leaders from Visegrád countries with each other's culture, history, and current challenges, facilitating better understanding and future constructive cooperation.
The Institute's work is supported by an Advisory Board, with Gergely Prőhle, the program director, serving as its chairman. Members include Gábor Csaba, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation and former ambassador to Canberra and Seoul; László Hajnik, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense; Péter Sztáray, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Péter Tálas, former head of the Institute of Strategic Defense Research; and Márton Ugrósdy, Deputy State Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office. The John Lukacs Institute continues LUPS' longstanding research collaboration with the Ministry of Defense and the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs.
The inauguration of the John Lukacs Institute will take place during its conference on January 31, 2024, coinciding with the celebration of John Lukacs's centenary.
Image source: The New York Times