IASGP - International Association for the Study of German Politics


Constitution of the Association (June 2007)

Name

1. The name of the Association is the International Association for the Study of German Politics (IASGP). The Associations name reflects its origins, which lie in the respective academic subject associations of the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Objective

2. The objective of the Association is the encouragement of teaching, research and publication in politics with special reference to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Neither the Association's activities nor its membership shall be limited to any one country. For the furtherance of its objective the Association is empowered to collect sums of money.

Membership

3. Membership shall be open to individuals irrespective of nationality whose professional or personal interests are relevant to the objectives of the Association. Membership shall run on a calendar year basis. Only persons who have paid their subscriptions in full for that year, plus the Associations Honorary President and Honorary Vice-Presidents, shall be considered members and enjoy voting rights. Applications for membership shall be subject to approval by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may, by a vote of two-thirds of its members, expel individual members of the Association. There shall be provision for individual and corporate membership at rates of subscription which are to be set annually by a majority vote of members of the Association present at the Annual General Meeting. The Executive Committee may also resolve to set up reciprocal membership agreements with organisations pursuing objectives similar to those of the Association.

Officers

4. The Officers of the Association shall be the Chair, the Secretary and the Treasurer. Officers shall be elected for a period of three calendar years by the members of the Association, using the method laid down in a protocol to this constitution. Officers may not serve for two consecutive terms in the same office. Elections shall be staggered over a three-year cycle, so that in year one of the cycle elections to the positions of Secretary and Treasurer are held, in year two elections to the position of Chair are held, and in year three no elections for Officers are held. The timing of this cycle and the method of election shall be established in separate protocols to this constitution. Any vacancies shall be filled temporarily through co-opting by the Executive Committee pending resolution by the Annual General Meeting.

Executive Committee

5. The Executive Committee of the Association shall consist of eight members in addition to the three officers. In addition, subject to the implementation of Clause 6, the senior member of the editorial team of the Association's journal shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee; s/he shall have the authority to act on behalf of the entire team at the Committee's meetings. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional members. Any vacancies in the Committee shall be filled temporarily through co-opting by the Executive Committee pending resolution by the Annual General Meeting.

Four members of the Committee shall be elected every year for a period of two calendar years, with effect from 1 January of the year in question. Retiring members of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election. The method of election shall be established in a protocol to this constitution.

Journal

6. The Association shall publish a journal, either independently or under a commercial agreement with another party. The editorial team of the journal shall be appointed upon the nomination of the Executive Committee, following (where applicable) consultation with the publisher and subject to the approval of the members of the Association present at an Annual General Meeting. The collective term of appointment shall be four years in a cycle to be laid down in a protocol to this Constitution. Any vacancies among the editorial team shall be filled for the remainder of the term of appointment through co-opting by the Executive Committee pending resolution by the Annual General Meeting. The editorial team shall provide written reports to both the Executive Committee and the Annual General Meeting.

Honorary President

7. There shall be an Honorary President of the Association who shall be elected every three years by members of the Association present at an Annual General Meeting, in a cycle to be laid down in a protocol to this Constitution. A serving Honorary President may be re-elected once for a further period of three years.

Honorary Vice-Presidents

8. There shall be Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Association. These shall be elected for an indefinite period by members of the Association present at an Annual General Meeting in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the Association.

Friends of the Association

9. There shall be Friends of the Association. These shall be honorary members, elected by the members of the Association present at the Annual General Meeting.

Conferences

10. Subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, the Association shall organise conferences, or panels as part of other academic conferences, on a regular basis. These may take place in a variety of countries, including when appropriate Germany. Unless they are panels held within the context of other academic conferences, and unless the Executive Committee decides to subsidise an event, conferences run under the auspices of the Association shall normally be self-financing. Members of the Association shall qualify for reduced rates for attendance at its own conferences.

Annual General Meeting and Special Meetings

11. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association shall normally be held concurrently with a conference and every member shall receive not less than 28 days' notice of such meeting. The Executive Committee will decide the venue, which will normally alternate from year to year. Special meetings may be convened by the Secretary upon a request by either eight members of the Committee or 30 members of the Association. The Secretary shall give to every member not less than 28 days' notice of such a meeting. At AGMs and special meetings there shall be an elective quorum of fifteen.

Votes

12. Resolutions at the Annual General Meeting shall be carried by simple majority. Every member present at the meeting, including the Chair (or, in the absence of the Chair, the member presiding at the meeting), shall have one vote. In the case of equality of votes the Chair shall have a second or casting vote. In elections to positions as Officers or membership of the Executive Committee, as well as votes to change the Constitution of the Association, every member shall have one vote.

Executive Committee Meetings

13. The Executive Committee shall normally meet biannually; one of those meetings will normally take place immediately prior to the Annual General Meeting. The Chair of the Association shall preside at such meetings, or in his or her absence a member of the Committee elected by those present. There shall be a quorum of five. Each Committee member including the Chair of the Association shall have one vote and in the case of a tied vote the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.

Financial Operation

14. The Association's accounting period shall be on a calendar year basis. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget for the Association's activities, to be approved by the Executive Committee for the following year. At the Annual General Meeting, the Treasurer shall provide a written report on the Association's financial activities during the preceding calendar year, as well as on the current year's expenditure plans. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to ring-fence specific sums of money for designated activities, for instance support of postgraduate members. All sums collected in the name of the Association shall be handed over to the Treasurer who shall pay the same into a bank account in the name of the Association. Cheques shall be signed by two members of the Executive Committee.

Investment

15. The Officers shall invest in the name of the Association or one of its trustees any moneys not required for the immediate purposes of the Association in a deposit account of one of the financial institutions in which trust money may by law be invested, with power from time to time to transpose such investments.

Alteration of Constitution

16. The Constitution of the Association, other than Articles 16 and 17, may be amended or repealed following a postal and/or electronic ballot of the membership, in which two-thirds of returned ballots support the proposed changes. Protocols attached to this constitution may be amended, repealed or inserted by a resolution at the AGM.

Dissolution

17. The Association may be wound up by a resolution passed by a postal and/or electronic ballot of the membership, in which two-thirds of returned ballots support dissolution. In this event, the moneys held in the name of the Association or one of its trustees shall be divided equally among the members at that date.

Protocol on Electoral Methods

(i) For elections to the Offices of the Association: the method of the alternative vote (when three or more candidates are nominated) will be used.

(ii) For elections to the positions of the additional Committee members: there will be a system in which each elector has as many votes as there are vacancies to fill; ballot papers not using all available votes will still be valid; the candidates with the highest totals are elected. Ballot papers containing more votes than there are vacancies to fill shall be void in their entirety.

(iii) In both cases, there shall be provision for postal and/or electronic voting. The Secretary of the Association shall supervise this process, including setting adequate deadlines for nominations and receipt of ballots.

Protocol on Cycles of Office

(i) The Chair of the Association shall be elected on a three-year cycle beginning in 2009

(ii) The Secretary and Treasurer of the Association shall be elected on a three-year cycle beginning in 2008

(iii) The Honorary President of the Association shall be elected on a three-year cycle beginning in 2010

(iv) The Editorial Team for the Association's journal shall be elected on a four-year cycle beginning in 2009

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