The Formal Rules Governing IPSA Research Committees

I. Definition

1. The IPSA executive committee shall, in accordance with article 5(e) of the IPSA constitution, make provision for the establishment and monitoring of research committees to conduct and propagate the results of research within the various subfields of political science.

2. Research committees are groups of scholars conducting research into a particular problem or in a particular area of political science approved by the committee on research and training and the IPSA executive committee as part of a broad research framework within the discipline of political science.

II. Objectives

3. Research committees should: (i) develop research in political science, especially work based on international cooperation; (ii) organize and maintain personal contacts among political scientists with common interests; (iii) disseminate information and publish scholarly research; and (iv) provide a framework for cooperation between individuals and organizations concerned with teaching and research in political and other social sciences.

III. Membership

4. Membership of research committees is open to political scientists who are members of national associations affiliated to IPSA, and to individual members of IPSA.

5. Research committees should be as representative as possible of the different approaches in their special fields, and of the countries and regions of political scientists who conduct research in these fields. They should also make appropriate provision for the inclusion of women, young scholars (including doctoral students) and other disadvantaged groups.

6. Research committees may require their members to pay a small fee to assist in defraying running costs, on the condition that it is made public on the RC website, on the IPSA website or otherwise.

7. Research committees are required to ensure that their activities are adequately publicized by forwarding to the IPSA secretariat material for publication on a regular basis. They are required to make a prompt and positive response to persons applying for membership. In the event of an application for membership not being accepted, any eligible person may forward an appeal to the Committee on Research and Training.

IV. Organization

8. The affairs of each research committee shall be directed by an elected board consisting of no fewer than seven and no more than twelve members. The board shall be elected every four years and shall include at least two new members at each election. No officer of a research committee may remain as an officer in the same substantive capacity for more than eight years, and more than an extra four years in a second position. If possible, board members should represent different countries and approaches in their fields of interest.

9. The board shall have a chair assisted, if necessary, by a vice-chair and a secretary. The chair shall be the primary contact point for IPSA and shall be regarded as the convenor of the research committee, unless the board designates another officer as convenor.

10. No-one may be a board member of more than one research committee.

11. If, for any reason, the elected chair should tender his resignation, then an interim chair should be named by the IPSA Executive Committee at its next regular meeting, after consultation with the outgoing research committee officers. The interim chair is then required to appoint a reconstituted board, which would be responsible for administering the affairs of the research committee until its next regular triennial election.

12. Research committee officials must be dues-paying individual members of IPSA.

V. Activities

13. Research committees are entitled and expected to organize two sessions at the IPSA world congress.

14. Between congresses research committees should organize meetings, conduct research and publish its results, and circulate news and information about their activities. All research committees are expected to organize at least one academic meeting between congresses.

15. In the event of a charge being made on participants at any academic meeting organized by a research committee, this shall be set at a low enough level as to ensure that participation at the meeting is not discouraged, and is also subject to any maximum fee that may be prescribed by the IPSA Executive Committee on the recommendation of the Committee on Research and Training.

VI. Recognition of research committees

16. The committee on research and training may recommend the recognition of a new research committee on the basis of a request signed by at least 15 political scientists from at least seven different countries and two continents; the signatories must include both men and women.

17. Any application for the formation of a research committee must be accompanied by a statement outlining: (i) the subject of the proposed committee; (ii) the main analytical perspectives and empirical fields to be considered; (iii) a list of prospective members; and (iv) a plan of activities and goals, and particularly future meetings and conferences, publications and newsletters.

VII. Review of research committees

18. Research committees are recognized on a probationary basis for an initial three-year period. Their organization and activities shall subsequently be reviewed every six years by the Committee on Research and Training.

19. Research committees should make every endeavour to keep the IPSA secretariat informed of their activities. In particular, each research committee is required: (i) to provide a report within six weeks of the world congress; this must include a summary of activities during the previous three years, including a list of meetings held, and papers presented, publications and newsletters issued; and (ii) to provide an updated list of the names and full coordinates of office holders and board members after each election of a new board.

20. The Committee on Research and Training may recommend the continuation of a research committee for a further six-year period if in its view it satisfies the following conditions: (i) the organizational requirements in rules 8-12; (ii) the academic requirements in rules 13-15; (iii) the reporting requirements in rule 19; and (iv) such other requirement as the committee may impose to satisfy itself of the bona fide activity of the research committee.

21. The Committee on Research and Training may at any time recommend to the executive committee withdrawal of recognition of a research committee that is in breach of the rules.

VIII. Committee on Research and Training

22. The Committee on Research and Training shall consist of members appointed by the IPSA executive committee.

23. The duties of the committee are: (i) to consider proposals for new research committees, and to recommend whether or not they should be accepted; (ii) to review the activities of existing research committees every six years, and to recommend whether or not they should be continued; (iii) to monitor the scope and activities of research committees as a whole, to encourage their work, and to recommend ways in which its quality might be improved; (iv) to encourage the systematic development of research on a planned basis by identifying gaps and areas of overlap in the overall pattern of research committees; and (v) to report its recommendations and conclusions to the IPSA executive committee and, where appropriate, to the IPSA council.

IX. Interpretation

24. The committee on research and training shall rule on any ambiguities in these rules, subject to a right of appeal to the IPSA executive committee.

Source: International Political Science Association, IPSA Research Committee Guide for RC Chairs, 3rd Edition. (June 2012).

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