IPSA Launches "Regional Dialogues" Initiative

IPSA Launches "Regional Dialogues" Initiative

Publication date: Thu, 05 Nov 2020

IPSA is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative called Regional Dialogues. This initiative will feature five or six online meetings with IPSA collective members from different continents. The first two meetings, on Africa and the Americas, respectively, were successfully held on October 30 and Nov 12, 2020.

The meeting on Africa was chaired by IPSA Vice-President Christopher Isike. It was attended by IPSA President Marianne Kneuer, Vice-President Yasmeen Abu-Laban, representatives of the Angolan (Paulo CJ Faria), Nigerian (Gerald Ekene Ezirim) and South African (Siphamandla Zondi) political science associations, as well as IPSA Executive Director Kim Fontaine-Skronski and Membership, Communication and Strategy Director Mathieu St-Laurent.

The meeting on the Americas was chaired by Yasmeen Abu-Laban and IPSA Executive Committee member Jesús Alberto Rodríguez Alonso. It was attended by Marianne Kneuer and representatives of the American (Steven Rathgeb Smith), Argentinian (Martín D’Alessandro), Bolivian (Maria Paz Salas Piludo and Jose Maria Paz Logatto), Brazilian (Mariana Batista), Canadian (Joanna Everitt), Colombian (Carolina María Horta Gaviria), Mexican (Jesus Tovar Mendoza), and Uruguayan (Diego Lujan) political science associations. Also attending were Daniel Buquet from the Latin America Political Science Association (ALACIP) as well as Kim Fontaine-Skronski and Mathieu St-Laurent from the IPSA Secretariat.

Regional Dialogues focus on three main topics:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on national political science associations and teaching at universities
  • IPSA services to national associations
  • Other important issues raised by national associations

IPSA first decided to create regional dialogues at the virtual EC Meeting in April 2020. The Committee on Membership and Participation discussed ways to reach out to IPSA collective members in an effort to sustain relationships in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the postponement of the IPSA World Congress, both of which have interrupted regular channels of communication with collective members.

This new initiative will provide an opportunity to connect with collective members by fostering a broader dialogue between presidents and/or executive directors/secretary-generals at a regional level, and groups from Africa, Asia/Oceania, Europe and the Americas.

Hosting regional online dialogues will offer an online platform for communication that takes into account time zones while promoting discussions on general topics that draw a reasonable number of participants and on more specific regional issues. Smaller regional discussion groups will also allow IPSA to elicit more feedback from our 59 IPSA collective members, taking into consideration the realities and challenges specific to each member.

Hosted by the IPSA Secretariat, these dialogues will be held via Zoom until the early spring of 2021, ahead of the April 2021 EC Meeting, at which the Secretariat will report on its findings. The next Regional Dialogues on Asia/Oceania and Europe will be held in the first few months of 2021.