International Political Science Association

International Political Science Association

The International Political Science Association (IPSA), (in French: "L'Association internationale de science politique (AISP)") is an international organization dedicated to the scholarly study of political science.

IPSA was founded in 1949 under UNESCO sponsorship. Since then, national political science associations have constituted its core. Its founder members were, indeed, national associations: the American, Canadian, French and Indian political science associations.

Collective membership by national associations dominated IPSA in its earliest years, with individual and associate membership developing only later. Thus, four more national associations joined in 1950 (Israel, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom), another four in 1951 (Austria, Belgium, Greece and Mexico), and six in 1952 (Brazil, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan and Yugoslavia). By the end of the 1950s a further ten national associations had joined: Australia and the Netherlands (1954), Ceylon, Cuba and the Soviet Union (1955), Egypt and Norway (1956), Lebanon and Spain (1958), and Switzerland (1959).

Of course, not all of these associations survived as IPSA members (some, indeed, disappeared completely). Those associations whose membership was discontinued were nevertheless more fewer in number than newly affiliating associations, with the result that IPSA's collective membership has been expanding steadily. At present, 41 associations are active collective members.

In terms of fees payable to IPSA, collective members have been divided into a number of categories based on a measure of their relative wealth and capacity to pay (since the 1960s this has been based on the size of their relative contribution to the UNESCO budget). Each collective member is represented on IPSA's central governing organ, the Council, by one, two or three members. The Council lays down broad policy guidelines for the association and elects the Executive Committee, which is charged with responsibility for the conduct of the affairs of IPSA between congresses.

Already in the early 1950s two other categories of membership were introduced: individual and associate. From 52 individual members in 1952, there was steady growth until the end of the 1950s. During the late 1960s and early 1970s individual membership hovered close to the 400-500 mark, but rapid expansion in the late 1970s created the present position, where IPSA normally has in excess of 1,000 individual members.

Associate membership, open to institutions engaged in research or teaching in the area of political science, grew steadily until the mid-1960s; since then, it has hovered about an average of approximately 100.

The principal academic activities of IPSA have been its scholarly meetings. These began with a congress in 1950, and since 1952 world congresses have been taking place every three years. From small beginning, they have developed into major international scientific occasion, typically attracting something in the region of 2,000 participants. In addition to its congresses, IPSA has sponsored other types of scholarly meetings, such as roundtables and workshops.

One of the most dynamic areas of growth within IPSA has been the activity of its research committees and study groups. This began in the 1970s and has expanded greatly since then. In addition to organising panels at the triennial congresses, research committees and study groups organise their own meetings between congresses, publish newsletters and issue other publications.

IPSA has also been extremely active in the area of publishing. In addition to sponsoring books, reports and edited collections on an ad-hoc basis, it has formulated a systematic publishing policy of its own. This began in 1951 with the initiation of the International Political Science Abstracts, which now appear six times per year and which in 1995 have been issued also in CD-ROM form. In 1980 began the publication of the "International Political Science Review", a quarterly journal that publishes scholarly articles covering all subfields of the discipline. A book series, initiated during the 1970s, has recently been relaunched under the title Advances in Political Science: An International Series. Finally, since 1977 the IPSA secretariat has published its own newsletter, "Participation", and since 2006, its monthly online "Newsletter".


"IPSAPortal" is an official publication of the IPSA. It is structured as an online, dynamic database providing reviews, evaluations and links of the top 300 web sites for Political science worldwide.

External links

* [,en/ International Political Science Association]
* [ IPSAPortal]

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