Presidential Statement of Objectives - İlter Turan
Publication date: Wed, 27 Jul 2016
As the newly elected President of IPSA, I believe that IPSA should focus its efforts on the five following areas:
- achievement of higher professional standards;
- making our services available not only to the scholarly community but to society at large;
- ensure the principles of academic freedom and
- efficient management.
- IPSA will work to incorporate non-member countries into its collective membership. When countries in question are yet to build their national political science associations, IPSA will encourage and extend support to the establishment of such organizations and sustain their continuation as active and viable organizations;
- IPSA must look for strategies to expand and maintain its individual membership base. IPSA will undertake an examination of the membership structure by means of comparative analysis of organizations that are successful in expanding and retaining their membership. The results of this study will be submitted to the consideration of the Executive Committee;
- IPSA will search for ways to expand the resources available to its Global South program by trying to find new sources of sponsorship in addition to the individual acts of generosity of IPSA members who donate to the Global South Solidarity Fund.
2. Achievement of higher academic standards in the profession
- IPSA will develop a Guideline Handbook of Professional Ethics to promote the observation of ethical standards among scholars. IPSA recognizes that such effort may be useful in some environments to define with accuracy concepts such as plagiarism and conflict of interest;
- IPSA will continue its efforts to collaborate with other social science associations, to promote interdisciplinary research and to seek the expansion of its joint activities with other associations;
- IPSA will continue its commitment to publishing highly professional journals and strive for increasingly higher standards for the ensemble of its publications;
- IPSA will encourage and support the activities of its Research Committees as well as seek the establishment of new ones in view of changing and expanding the content of the discipline;
- IPSA will continue its summer school program and examine whether additional programs are needed in order to support academics from various parts of the world, especially the Global South to build scholarly capacity.
3. Making our services available not only to the scholarly community but to society at large
- IPSA should continue to develop a wide selection of MOOCs. MOOCs are beneficial not only to students of political science but also to other concerned citizens who may be interested in furthering their knowledge in the fields that are covered by our discipline;
- To the extent that the world is increasingly becoming a single market place, IPSA should consider expanding its open academic jobs posting service;
- IPSA should develop a separate database, publicly accessible; on the basis of voluntary participation of its interested members. This database, among others, would contain information on the services that may be offered by individual members to interested parties on such topics as their areas of expertise, topics on which they would be ready to lecture, offer temporary teaching services or consultancy, and the terms of their cooperation with interested parties.
- IPSA should search for ways to assist academic institutions, particularly in locations where new universities are being started in the Global South so that they may meet their transitional needs in the teaching of political science. In this context, established political scientists in different parts of the world who are retired may constitute an invaluable resource on which our association may rely.
4. Ensuring the prevalence of academic freedoms:
IPSA is dedicated to the preservation of not only the academic freedom of political scientists, but also their democratic freedom as citizens to express their viewpoints without fear of reprisal, in particular from their own academic institutions. In this context, a well-planned policy should be developed (reporting, monitoring, communicating our viewpoints to appropriate agencies), focusing on the preservation of freedom but not being involved in the substance of the questions on which opinions are expressed.
5. Meeting the challenge of management:
IPSA has moved to a new system of electing the president. To the extent that the pool from which the president is chosen has been expanded, this is a well-considered change. Yet, we have to further refine the system to ensure that transitions of leadership are smooth and the institutional continuity of our association is enhanced. Working toward electing a president a term in advance and getting the participation of the president-elect in the Executive Committee meetings prior to him/her assuming office may be a way of improving continuity. In the meantime; however, it may be possible to simply move the candidate designation process to an earlier date and ensure his/her participation in the Executive Committee meetings.
IPSA is a growing organization, it organizes major World Congresses every two years. Thanks to its secretariat, these are highly successful affairs. As organizations are growing and prospering, it is an often employed procedure to study how positions are defined, how they are ordered and relate to each other, how various operations are streamlined and procedures rendered more efficient, whether some services are provided more efficiently if outsourced, etc. IPSA should take steps to review and if needed, proactively improve its management, rather than waiting for problems to emerge to address them.