Aleksander Smolar studied economics and sociology at the University of Warsaw and international relations at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. He works as a political scientist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Smolar was political advisor to Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, and foreign affairs advisor to Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka. He co-authored books such as La Grande Secousse. L’Europe de l’Est (1991) and Globalisation, Power and Democracy (2000).