Jean Laponce (1925–2016)
Publication date: Mon, 05 Dec 2016
The editorial team at the International Political Science Review (IPSR) is sad to announce the death of Jean Laponce, whose involvement with IPSA dates back to its inception. He showed a passionate commitment to developing and strengthening the international political science community. Mr. Laponce was responsible for two highly significant initiatives during his tenure as IPSA president (1973-76): The first led to the creation of IPSA’s own journal, the second to the development of political science in the Soviet Union through a decision to hold the 1979 IPSA World Congress in Moscow.
In 1976, the IPSA Council responded to Laponce’s suggestion to establish a journal by mandating him to investigate its feasibility. After four years of planning, the journal came into being in 1980, with John Meisel as its founding editor. Laponce was never far away, and in 1985 he joined Meisel as co-editor, a position he held until 2002.
In his many years as editor, and during his tenure on the IPSA Executive Committee, Mr. Laponce helped build bridges between East and West and maintained personal friendships in countries around the world. He was also responsible for creating two IPSA research committees: political geography (RC 15) and the politics of language (RC50). He became invaluable as a fountain of knowledge on the arcane inner workings of IPSA.
Past and present IPSR editors have benefitted immensely from his legacy as the journal’s founder and longest-serving editor. We try to emulate his openness to new ideas and sources of knowledge, while maintaining his commitment to high standards of scholarship. As a testament to the editors’ high regard for Jean, the award presented every four years for the best article published in IPSR is named the Meisel-Laponce Award.
Theresa Reidy, Marian Sawer and Mark Kesselman