Research Committees (RC) - About Research Committee
Each committee is cross-national in membership, and its affairs are managed, subject to general IPSA guidelines, by an executive board consisting of IPSA members. Each research committee is required to organize at least one meeting between World Congresses, and also needs to organize a minimum of two panels at each World Congress. One must be a independently organized panel. The second may be a joint session, co-organized with other research committees or sub-sections of national political science associations. Possible further panels are free of rules.
- Guide for RC Chairs (pdf, 911 kb) (Note: This version is currently being updated. The section about General Rules for Research Committee currently does not reflect the IPSA constitution changes of July 2012)
Membership of research committees is open to all individual members of IPSA and to all members of national associations affiliated to IPSA as collective members. The former may ask to be put in touch with particular research committees by so indicating on their IPSA membership form. Others may join by contacting the chairs of the committees in question (see the complete list). Further information on membership and on the activities of particular committees may also be obtained from Prof. Christ’l De Landtsheer, Research Committees Liaison Representative (email@example.com).
In the IPSA statutes, the objectives of RC are spelled out as follows:
- Develop research in political science, especially work based on international co-operation;
- Organize and maintain personal contacts among political scientists with common interests;
- Disseminate information and publish scholarly research;
- Provide a framework between individuals and organizations concerned with teaching and research in political and other social sciences.
It was at the 8th World Congress, held in Munich in 1970, that IPSA decided to institutionalize research activities in political science throughout the world. It did so by officially setting up research committees. This move may be regarded as a timely recognition of the need but also the opportunity for political scientists working in particular sub-fields of the discipline to associate with colleagues from their own and from other continents in the pursuit of their research. Between 1970 and 1976, 14 RC were established, signaling that IPSA had indeed responded to a growing demand among IPSA members. Between 1976 and 1999, a large number of research group were established; many of them subsequently moved up to RC status following the 1999 Executive Committee decision.
At present, IPSA has recognized 50 RCs. Between World Congresses, the research committees – largely as a result of the rapid growth in both their numbers and in the size of individual memberships – contribute more than any other body to the activity and achievements of IPSA. To help RCs interact, and to improve their role in allowing them to be heard in the overall IPSA context, a special Executive sub-committee known as the Committee on Research and Training (CRT) monitoring the activities of RCs was set up in 1979, and the office of Research Committees Liaison Representative was created in 2000. Michael Stein was the first Research Committees Liaison Representative for two terms (2000-2006). Rainer Eisfeld (University of Osnabrueck, Germany) was the representative for another two terms (2006-2012). Present Research Committee Representative, elected in 2012 at the 2012 Madrid World Congress, is Christ’l De Landtsheer (University of Antwerp, Belgium).