IPSA's 70th Anniversary

70 years after its foundation, the International Political Science Association (IPSA) celebrated its anniversary at its founding location in Paris, in collaboration with the French Political Science Association), Sorbonne University, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the American University of Paris (AUP) and American Political Science Association (APSA). The event, held on November 21-22, 2019, brought together IPSA past and current Presidents, Secretary Generals, Executive Committee members, National Associations, Research Committees, scholars and graduate students.

As a 70th anniversary celebration, an academic conference was held at Sorbonne University. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,  delivered the keynote speech. Prominent scholars discussed pertinent issues for our discipline during roundtables focused on Political Science in Turbulent Times: 1949 – 2019 and Preserving Academic Freedom in the Face of Democratic Erosion. Moreover, the event feature the book launch of Political Science and Digitalization - Global Perspectives, an edited volume by Marianne Kneuer, current IPSA President, and Helen Milner, former IPSA President, which gathers selected articles from IPSA’s Hannover Conference in 2017. 


View Event Program

View Event Photos

Cocktail Reception

Left to right: Olivier Nay, Andy Smith, Marianne Kneuer, William Fisher, Stephen Sawyer

IPSA's four women Presidents (left to right): Helen V. Milner, Lourdes Sola, Carole Pateman, Marianne Kneuer

On Thursday November 21, the American University of Paris hosted a cocktail reception at its campus to gather the participants of the 70th anniversary conference. In her welcome speech, IPSA President Marianne Kneuer welcomed the guests and thanked the event partners for their support.

Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs of the American University of Paris, William Fisher, also welcomed the guests, talked about the history of the University and congratulated the representatives of IPSA on the occasion of the 70th anniversary.

Finally, the President of the French Political Science Association, Andy Smith, pointed out that the French Association was also founded in 1949 in Paris and outlined the historic collaboration between the two associations for seventy years.

IPSA's four women presidents — Helen V. Milner, Lourdes Sola, Carole Pateman and Marianne Kneuer — were also gathered for the first time on the occasion of the 70th anniversary.

The cocktail reception was followed by a dinner sponsored by the American University of Paris.

Academic Conference

As part of the 70th anniversary celebration in Paris, an academic conference was organized at La Sorbonne University's prestigious Louis Liard Hall on Friday November 22. The conference began with a welcome speech by IPSA President Marianne Kneuer who emphasized the creation of IPSA in the immediate postwar years under the aegis of UNESCO by four founding national political science associations: Canada, France, India and the United States. Prof. Kneuer also highlighted IPSA’s mission, major accomplishments, publications, past World Congresses and objectives.

In his speech, John Crowley, Chief of Section for Research, Policy and Foresight in the UNESCO Sector for Social and Human Sciences, stressed UNESCO’s role in the creation of IPSA and detailed the longstanding relationship between UNESCO and IPSA.

Québec Delegate General in Paris, Michèle Boisvert, talked about the establishment of the IPSA Secretariat in Montréal in 2006 and underlined the Québec government’s support to IPSA and other international organizations.

Watch the Welcome Address Video

After the welcome address, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile, delivered a keynote speech focused on the global political and economic issues including inequality, economic empowerment, human rights, social justice, civil and political freedoms, access to quality education and healthcare. Michelle Bachelet also discussed the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a potential solution to the current global problems.

Watch the Keynote Speech Video

The keynote speech was followed by two roundtable discussions. The first one, titled Political Science in Turbulent Times: 1949-2019, was Chaired by Dianne Pinderhughes, Professor in the Departments of Africana Studies and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, United States. Speakers discussed the historical and current problems the world faces since the Second World War, the role political science can play in turbulent times and what our discipline can contribute to politics.


  • John Crowley, Chief of Section for Research, Policy and Foresight in the UNESCO Sector for Social and Human Sciences - France
  • Bruce W. Jentleson, William Preston Few Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy - United States
  • Nonna Mayer, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics of Sciences Po (CEE) and French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) Emeritus Research Director - France
  • Lourdes Sola, Professor of the Department of Political Science and Center for Public Policy Research at the Universidade of São Paulo and IPSA Past President - Brazil

Watch the Rountable 1 Video

Robert Quinn and İlter Turan

Another highly relevant issue for our discipline is academic freedom, which was the theme of the second roundtable, titled Preserving Academic Freedom in the Face of Democratic Erosion. It was chaired by İlter Turan, IPSA Past President and Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. The presenters discussed the role of academic organizations in identifying academic freedom violations and solutions to address this rising issue.


  • Kristian Gleditsch, Regius Professor of Political Science at University of Essex, Chair of the Committee on Academic Freedom at International Studies Association - United Kingdom
  • Katrin Kinzelbach, Professor of International Politics of Human Rights at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg - Germany
  • Robert Quinn, Executive Director of the Scholars at Risk Network - United States
  • Rogers Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science and APSA Past President - United States

Watch the Roundtable 2 Video

Helen V. Milner, Marianne Kneuer, Barbara Budrich

IPSA’s 70th Anniversary event also featured the book launch of Political Science and Digitalization - Global Perspectives, presented by Thierry Vedel, Center for Political Research at Sciences Po (CEVIPOF) and French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) Senior Research Fellow, France. The book is an edited volume by Marianne Kneuer, current IPSA President, and Helen V. Milner, former IPSA President, which gathers selected articles from IPSA’s mid-term conference Political Science in the Digital Age: Mapping Opportunities, Perils and Uncertainties held in December 2017 in Hannover, Germany.

Watch the Book Launch Video

IPSA Executive Committee Members (left to right): Hilmar Rommetvedt, Euiyoung Kim, Christopher Isike, Olivier Nay, Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Marianne Kneuer, Rodney Hero, Yuko Kasuya, Domagoj Bebic, Arkadiusz Zukowski

Foundation of IPSA

IPSA was founded in September 1949, when representatives from sixteen countries gathered at UNESCO House in Paris. That inaugural meeting was led by delegations from the national associations of IPSA’s four founding countries: the United States, Canada, India, and France. In late 1949, the first Executive Committee and Executive Secretary begun to put into place the structures that would enable IPSA to take up the challenge laid out in its constitution: "[promoting] the advancement of political science throughout the world."

The first article about the creation of IPSA, published in the UNESCO Courier in November 1949.

IPSA's First Logo

IPSA Letterhead used in the 1980's


Since its first World Congress of Political Science in Zürich in 1950, IPSA has organized 25 successful World Congresses and numerous conferences across the world and more than 25,000 people attended these international events.

7th IPSA World Congress - Brussels, 1967

11th IPSA World Congress - Moscow, 1979

20th IPSA World Congress - Fukuoka, 2006


Today, IPSA publications, International Political Science Review and International Political Science Abstracts, as well as the IPSA Portal, seek to meet the needs of political scientists in different parts of the world. IPSA also organizes various Summer Schools for students and young researchers in collaboration with prominent universities and offers free IPSAMOOC - Massive Open Online Course - on its website.

A Roundtable Discussion Organized by IPSA  - Tokyo, 1982

IPSA Celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of its Permanent  Secretariat in Montréal - 2016


We are proud that IPSA has successfully accomplished its mission of creating a global, inclusive political science community, which today counts 61 national associations, over 81 institutional members, and more than 4,000 individual members.