Building the Association


The purely organizational development of the AICPS proceeded along two tracks. The internal track involved drawing up a blueprint for the organization and setting up structures that would allow it to operate in a well-regulated, effective fashion. The external track entailed obtaining recognition from other organizations in order to ensure the Association’s legitimacy.
2.1. Setting up the structures
I consider that, currently, the most important task of the secretariat is to facilitate the formation of national associations. The IPSA will only truly become a robust, living reality insofar as it is truly a federation of vigorous national associations.[Translation]
Jean Meynaud
Executive Secretary of the IPSA,
16 March 1950.

The first articles of the constitution passed by the 1949 conference set out the responsibilities of the AICPS’s basic organs, the Council and the Executive Committee. They are the classic structures most such associations adopt: the Council is the general assembly of the AICPS, and the Executive Committee is the board of directors, elected by the Council for a term of three years. Under the constitution, the Executive Committee appoints the Treasurer and Executive Secretary, while the Council names the President. Sixty years of practice have brought about changes in these arrangements. Election of the President has thus regularly taken the form of the validation of a proposal by the Executive Committee, and, over the past few years, the name put forward has often been that of the outgoing first vice president. Incidentally, the office of vice president is the only real institutional curiosity of the AICPS, notably because of the vagueness that surrounds it. The number of vice presidents has varied, the procedures for appointing them have changed, and the responsibilities of the office are poorly defined. It has thus been the subject of discussions and constitutional amendments. It has even, at times, led to controversy and tension. For example, James Pollock, President of the AICPS from 1955 to 1958, argued that vice presidents had no greater prerogatives than any other Executive Committee member.

Debate about the office of vice president has been particularly problematic and recurrent, but arguments have also arisen over the remit, election procedures, and composition of other AICPS organs. The issue of the structure of Association membership has always lain, more or less explicitly, at the root of these disputes. Although consensus was reached in 1949 on the admission of three categories of members—collective, individual and associate— the methods of admission and the respective weight of the groupings in the decision-making processes of the AICPS were by no means selfevident. The associate members, comprising all those groups “pursuing objectives compatible with those of the Association in related fields of activity,” did not really pose much of a problem. Since they were not represented on the Council and therefore not involved in any power issues, questions respecting them were easily settled. Matters regarding the collective and individual members, though, were more complex.
It was clear from the beginning that the purpose of the AICPS was to constitute a federation of national associations and that the collective members were consequently to have predominant power. However, this position of principle was at odds with the actual state of political science in 1949. There were only four national associations among the founding members, making it inevitable that individual members would be admitted and that they would furthermore be given some weight in decision making.
The first question was how much weight to give them. How many Council seats ought to be allotted to individual members, particularly as compared to the number allocated to the collective members? The participants of the 1949 conference responded with two compromises: First, they authorized significant representation of the individual members on the Council, on condition that it not be greater than the representation accorded the collective members.12 Secondly, they deferred formation of the Association Council until a later date when the membership would be deemed sufficient.
The participants in the 1949 Conference had not only to resolve the issue of decision-making power but also to define the criteria for membership. Given the permeability of the discipline, which we discussed earlier, how was one to determine which individual or collective candidates were actually in the field of political science? Furthermore, each category of members presented special problems: What if two associations from the same country applied for membership? What if an individual who had been rejected by a national association wanted to join the AICPS? Here too the participants evidenced flexibility and compromise. Some of them were leery of trying to define the characteristics of a bona fide political scientist. Such an undertaking would inevitably have led them to venture out onto the uncertain ground of defining political science, and, as we have seen, they had hitherto been extremely cautious in this regard. Others betrayed a fear that the lack of any criteria would lead to the politicization of the Association. For example, Quincy Wright, who would serve as the first president of the AICPS, maintained that “it was important at any cost not to exclude a bona fide candidate on the ground that he belonged to some ideological group.” When the discussion ended, the authority to examine candidacies was delegated, albeit with little conviction, to the Executive Committee. The only proviso was that the Committee do everything in its power not to admit more than one collective member per country in order to avoid overrepresentation of any region on the Council. Articles 7 and 8 of the constitution thus encouraged the grouping together of associations from a single country but did not make it mandatory:
Collective Members shall consist of national (and regional) associations recognized by the Executive Committee as being representative of political science in their respective countries (or regions).There shall normally be only one collective Member from a country, but if, in any country, two or more eligible groups are candidates for collective membership, the Executive Committee, at its discretion,… may seek the establishment of a joint committee to which the collective membership may be granted, or it may admit one or more of the groups as collective Members.
These initial precautions made later adjustments necessary, and the arrangements regarding the admission and representation of members were the subject of a number of discussions and even amendments. Debates on the boundaries of political science, the vagueness of the notion of the bona fide political scientist, and the AICPS’s relationship with real world politics would recur. For example, the Executive Committee had to deal on occasion with thorny candidacy issues, such as those, most notably, of the German and Soviet associations, to which we shall return below. The question of the composition of the Council also arose on a regular basis. The first time was in 1952 when the Council was finally constituted, and it was decided that the collective members be represented by from one to three political scientists per country; only the British, French, and American associations were allotted the maximum number of representatives. Later, in the 1970s, the increasing weight of the Research Committees in setting the scientific agenda for the IPSA was to justify their representation on the Council. The issue of the appropriate number of Executive Committee members was also the subject of recurrent debate, and a compromise had to be made between the goal of geographic representation and the realities of the cost of Committee meetings. On the one hand:
The interest of Political Science [lies] in its [intensive] regional expansion where the Executive Committee has an active role.. It is natural then for the Council to watch and see members of socialists [sic] countries, Africa, Latin America, Asia sitting next to members from Occidental countries.13
On the other hand, the cost of meetings would rise as the membership spread geographically.
Apart for such piecemeal adjustments, the IPSA’s decision-making structure has been remarkably stable over the sixty years of its existence. In contrast to the barely noticeable changes in political structure, though, there have been much more marked changes in the administration of the Association. From François Goguel (1949-1950) to Guy Lachapelle (2000 to present), the IPSA has evolved from a system of one-man management to a team-based organization with incomparably greater operational and financial resources at its disposal. This major shift merits further examination.

The first executive secretaries faced no easy task. Until the end of the 1960s, the operations of the IPSA rested largely on the shoulders of one person François Goguel (Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (FNSP), Paris, 1949–1950), Jean Meynaud (FNSP, Paris, 1950–1955), John Goormaghtigh (Carnegie Endowment, Geneva, 1955–1960), and Serge Hurtig (FNSP, Paris, 1960–1967) each served concurrently as both Secretary General and Treasurer. They often made comments, sometimes leavened with humour, about how demanding the job was. Jean Meynaud thus wrote: “The AICPS Secretariat (a slightly pretentious term for one person who has to carry out all the everyday office work, including the mailing and filing) is currently working all out for the Congress at The Hague.” 14 Sometimes the comments betrayed more bitterness, as when John Goormaghtigh wrote: “Last year I wrote over 1400 letters for AICPS, not mentioning circular letters and mimeographed documents. This alone would be nothing if one could count on people replying to correspondence.” 15 The complaints are understandable considering that these men were only part-time employees of the AICPS. They were also political scientists and were engaged in teaching or running institutions such as the Carnegie Endowment (Goormaghtigh) or the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (Meynaud).
The result of concentrating the administration in the hands of a single person was to tie the operational facilities of the AICPS to the position of its Executive Secretary in his base institution. Jean Meynaud thus used his secretary at the Fondation for Association work and even used the FNSP’s stationery for his AICPS correspondence.

The fact that the secretariat was essentially one person had a symbolic as well as an operational impact. It added to the burden that successive Executive Secretaries bore by turning them into the incarnation and institutional memory of the AICPS. This development was partly due to the fact that they held the job for such a long time. Except for François Goguel, who was a special case, they stayed in their post for at least five (Jean Meynaud, John Goormaghtigh) and as many as twelve years (John Trent)—far longer than the three-year term of the President of the Association. Furthermore, their involvement in the AICPS was not restricted to their term as Secretary. Jean Meynaud was a member of the Executive Committee from 1955 to 1958. John Goormaghtigh was involved from the very beginning as one of the founding members. John Trent was chairman of Research.
The secretariat’s symbolic importance also stemmed from its crucial historic role in the growth of the Association. As the excerpt from the letter from Jean Meynaud that introduces this chapter illustrates, the Executive Secretary played a proactive role in the development of international political science by sending vast numbers of letters to every corner of the world in search of “National Associations or simply groups representing specialists in political science.” 16 The sea or ocean that lay between the President and Secretariat of the AICPS for the first nine years of its existence furthermore led the Executive Secretary to consult the President only on particularly sensitive or political issues and to de facto extend his own prerogatives.

Not until the late 1960s did the Executive Secretary begin to acquire more resources to carry out his mission. André Philippart (Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1967–1976), John Trent (University of Ottawa, 1976–1988), Francesco Kjellberg (University of Oslo, 1988–1994), John Coakley (University College, Dublin, 1994–2000), and Guy Lachapelle (Concordia University, Montreal, 2000 to present) now had the title of Secretary General. From 1962 on, they were assisted by a full-time administrator. This position has been held successively by Michèle David (1962–1967), Michèle Scohy (1967–1976), Liette Boucher (1976–1988), Lise Fog (1988–1994), Louise Delaney (1994–1998), Margaret Brindley (1998–2000), Christian Gohel (2001–2003), Stéphane Paquin (2003–2004), Aubert Descôteaux (2004–2007), and Andrea Cestaro (2007–2009). In 2000, when Guy Lachapelle assumed the post, a real team took over management of the Association. Two people could no longer handle the IPSA’s increased membership and extensive activities, which included organizing Congresses, Symposiums and Round Tables; managing the Web site; and publishing Participation(the AICPS bulletin). This critical development was notably made possible by the support of Montréal International, an organization based on a public-private partnership, one of whose goals is to attract international organizations to Montreal in order to enhance its international standing. 17

Only recently has the secretariat thus acquired the human and logistic resources it needs to fulfill the many prerogatives it has had since the Association was founded. Together with the effective, routinized operations of the Council and the Executive Committee and easier contact between the President and the Secretary due to the development of transport and telecommunications, these additional resources now provide the AICPS with all the internal components of a scientific organization in full working order. Furthermore, as we shall see, progress in its external relations has resulted in the transformation of its missions.

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INDUCTION! INDUCTION!! INDUCTION!!!

URGENT INFORMATION: This is to inform the general public that venue for the 2018 induction ceremony has been changed from the Novella Planet Hotel, Port Novo, Republic of Benin to LTV hall.  The new venue for the induction ceremony of our prestigious and reputable international professional bodies shall be Lagos State Television Combo Hall, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.  

Time :  12 Noon.     
Date :  May 12th,  2018.  Your presence would be highly appreciated sir/ma.

 

 

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