What is the IPSA Council?
The Council is the General Assembly of the International Political Science Association. It is composed of representatives of each collective member (National and Regional Associations) who have an assigned number of votes in the Council. The most important decisions concerning IPSA (such as changes to the Constitution, for example) are discussed and concluded by the Council. Article 15 clarifies that ‘’ The Council shall determine the policy of the Association, approve the accounts, and review the financial prospects of the Association for the succeeding three years.’’
The Council is also responsible for the election of the IPSA President and the IPSA Executive Committee.
Who can take part in the Council?
Article 11 of the IPSA Constitution dictates that:
The Council shall be composed of two classes of members:
A) Representatives designated by the collective members of the association in such a number as may be determined by the Executive Committee, provided that no collective member shall be entitled to more than three representatives on the Council; in case there should be two or more collective members from a country, the total number of representatives of such collective members on the Council shall not exceed three. Each collective member shall be entitled to designate alternates to represent it at any meeting of the Council.
B) Individual members proposed by the president and ratified by the Executive Committee. The individual members, whose total number may not exceed 30% of the number of representatives of collective members, are selected from the following categories:
a) Individual and associate members of the IPSA from countries or regions where there is no collective member;
b) Chairpersons and secretaries of IPSA research committees and study groups or their representatives;
c) Boards of editors of IPSA official publications.
Article 16 of the IPSA constitution stipulates that each member of the Council shall have a single vote.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, Article 11 of the IPSA Constitution also clarifies that: ‘’ The members of national associations which are more than two years in arrears with their fees are ineligible to sit on the Council unless a successful appeal is made to the Executive Committee.’’
There are also provisions for the attendance of non-voting members stipulated by the IPSA Rules and Procedures. Article 4 in Book 1 states that: Meetings of the Council shall be attended, normally in a non-voting capacity, by the Secretary General, the Programme chair and the editors of IPSA’s publications (the International Political Science Abstracts, the International Political Science Review and IPSA Portal). Other persons, including representatives of associate-institutional members, may be invited by the President to attend all or part of a meeting.
When does the IPSA Council Meet?
As per article 12 of the Constitution: ‘’The Council shall normally meet in regular session once every three years at such time and place as may be designated by the Executive Committee.’’ Since up to now IPSA held its World Congress of Political Science every 3 years, the Council has traditionally met at the occasion of the event.
In case of exceptional circumstances, article 14 provides for extraordinary sessions of the Council stating that: ‘A special session of the Council shall be convened by the Secretary General upon request of two thirds of the collective members of the Association. The Secretary General shall give reasonable notice of the date, place and object of any special session.’’
How can I be informed about Council Procedures and Schedules?
As the highest decision making body of the association, the IPSA Council receives special attention concerning its schedule and procedures. According to the Constitution (Article 18) this is how the process of organizing the Council takes place at the administrative level:
‘’Three months before the opening of each regular session of the Council, the Secretary General shall communicate to each member of the Council the date, place, and provisional agenda of the session. The provisional agenda shall include:
a) The report of the Secretary General on the work of the Association since the last session of the Council;
b) The accounts of the Association for the preceding three years;
c) A statement of the financial prospects of the Association for the succeeding three years;
d) Items proposed by the Executive Committee;
e) Items proposed by any collective member;
f) Election of the President of the Association;
g) Election of the Executive Committee for the succeeding three years.
At the moment the Secretariat is developing a system that will facilitate communication and exchanges between Council members in order to make the process as open and participative as possible. We are counting on the support and participation of our members in order to make this meeting a productive and constructive forum for the improvement of the association.
- Half the members of the Council constitutes a quorum (Article 8, IPSA Constitution)
- IPSA Constitution (Full Text) (pdf, 224kb)
- Excerpt of the IPSA Constitution (Council) (pdf, 41kb)
- Excerpt of the IPSA Rules and Procedures (Council) (pdf, 69kb)