The International Political Science Association (IPSA) was founded in Paris in 1949 under the aegis of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The special mandate of IPSA, expressed in its Constitution, is to support the development of political science in all parts of the world, building academic networks linking East and West, North and South. Its aim is to create an inclusive and global political science community in which all can participate. It seeks to promote collaboration between scholars in emerging and established democracies and to support the academic freedoms needed for the social sciences to flourish.
The activities and policies of IPSA reflect its global mission. It has been highly successful in the encouragement of national political science associations and today there are over 50 such associations affiliated with IPSA. IPSA has maintained its links with the United Nations and has supported the development of other international and regional political science organizations.
IPSA World Congresses of Political Science are now held every second year, moving between continents. The participation of scholars from less developed countries is supported through travel grants and the Global South Solidarity Fund. IPSA’s research committees offer opportunities for political scientists working in particular sub-fields of the discipline to associate with colleagues from around the world.
Organizing events between World Congresses and playing a major role in these Congresses, the research committees encourage the world-wide pooling of skills and resources by working both together and in conjunction with specialist sub-groups of national associations.
IPSA publications, including the lead journal International Political Science Review, the International Political Science Abstracts, Participation, and the IPSA Portal, also seek to meet the needs of political scientists in different parts of the world. As part of IPSA’s global mission to support and promote political science, it now conducts summer schools in research methods across the globe, for example, in South America and South Africa.
IPSA strives to ensure balanced representation in terms of region, gender and stage of career in all its activities – for example, the creation of a new research committee must be supported by political scientists from at least seven different countries and two continents. Conference panels and roundtables are expected to display similar diversity, with representation from more than one continent and at least four countries.
By linking scholars from North and South as well as East and West, IPSA seeks to strengthen the networks that underpin a global political science community. Such linkages put political science in a stronger position to contribute to the quality of public deliberation and decision-making as well as to the understanding of an increasingly interconnected political world. Ultimately, IPSA supports the role of political science in empowering men and women to participate more effectively in political life, whether within or beyond the states in which they live.
Organization — IPSA Structure
The IPSA Council elects, within its members, the voting members of the Executive Committee. The IPSA Council is composed of Collective Members (representing national political science associations, see Collective Membership) and of Individual Members. The Individual Members of the Council are proposed by the President and ratified by the Executive Committee. Their total number may not exceed 30% of the number of representatives of Collective Members, and are selected from the following categories:
- Individual and Associate Members of the IPSA from countries or regions where there is no Collective Member;
- Chairpersons and secretaries of IPSA Research Committees and Study Groups;
- Boards of Editors of IPSA official publications.
The Council membership must meet every 3 years at the IPSA World Congress.
IPSA Executive Committee
The IPSA constitution requires that the Executive Committee (EC) contain a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 members, including the president and the past president, who are both members ex-officio. In addition to this quorum, Executive Committee meetings are attended, in a non-voting capacity, by the RC Liaison representative, the secretary general, the administrator of the secretariat, the program chair (if he isn’t already a voting member of the EC) and the editors of IPSA’s publications and IPSA Portal. Voting members of the EC are elected by the IPSA Council.
See the current IPSA EC Officers.
RC Liaison Representative
The Research Committee (RC) Liaison Representative is a non-voting member of the EC. He represents the Research Committees on the EC. For more information on the RC Liaison Representative, go to the Research Committees section.
EC sub-committees are created by the EC and chaired by a voting member of the EC. They have the powers that the EC delegates to them. There are right now 6 EC sub-committees and they are:
- Committee on Organization, Procedure and Awards
- Committee on Research and Training
- Committee on the Congress Program
- Committee on Participation and Membership
- Budget Committee
- Committee on Publications
Editors are non-voting members of the EC. They are:
Editor and Co-editor of the International Political Science Abstracts (IPSA)
Both Co-editors of the International Political Science Review (IPSR)
IPSA Portal representative (IPSA internet search engine)
See the current IPSA Editors.
The Secretariat is represented on the EC by the Secretary General (named by the EC) and the administrator of the secretariat. The Secretary General is the Treasurer of the IPSA and acts as Secretary during EC meetings (responsible for the minutes of the meeting). He oversees the organization of the IPSA World Congresses and other meetings organized by the EC.
See the current Secretariat team.