CONSTITUTION OF THE POLITICAL STUDIES ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND 2019-10-19
Adopted by AGM on 20th October 2006; Amended by AGM on 21st October 2012; Amended by AGM on 13th October 2018; Amended by the AGM on 19th October 2019
1. THE ASSOCIATION
a) The name of the Association is the Political Studies Association of Ireland (Cumann Polaiteolaíochta na hÉireann), hereinafter called “the Association”.
b) The aim of the Association is to promote the study of politics in and of Ireland. The Association is interested in politics, not simply in Irish politics. It represents the totality of politics as it is taught and researched in Ireland. To this end, the Association supports a number of specialist groups representing a range of disciplinary concerns; these groups ultimately report to the Executive Committee and operate under guidelines set by the Executive Committee.
c) Any doubt that may arise as to the interpretation of this Constitution shall be determined by the Executive Committee, subject to appeal at a general meeting of the Association.
d) This Constitution replaces that which was adopted on 6 October 1984 and subsequently amended on 11 October 1986. It may itself be amended at a general meeting of the Association. Motions to amend the Constitution must be received by the Secretary at least two weeks prior to a general meeting. The Executive Committee shall, however, have discretion to accept emergency resolutions at a general meeting.
e) In the event of the Association dissolving, any assets remaining after all debts and liabilities have been satisfied shall be applied to or for some other charitable purpose or purposes, preferably connected with the aim of the Association.
a) There shall be three classes of membership of the Association – Full Members, Fellows, and Student Members. Every member shall further to the best of their ability the aims, interests and influence of the Association.
b) Full Membership of the Association shall be open to members of the staff of third-level institutions and of other appropriate bodies who are engaged in teaching or research in the area of politics, and to other persons approved by the Executive Committee or agents authorised to act on its behalf in this matter. Members shall have voting rights at Annual General Meetings, and are liable to payment of annual subscriptions.
c) Fellows of the Political Studies Association of Ireland shall be elected to Fellowship at the Annual General Meeting in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the mission of the Association. Nominations for Fellowship must have the majority endorsement of the Executive Committee before a motion for their election can be placed before an Annual General Meeting. They must then be elected by a two-thirds majority of those attending the Annual General Meeting of the Association. Fellows shall be elected to two-year terms, and shall give a lecture to the Annual General Meeting during their terms. Fellows shall enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of Full Members of the Association during their terms, but shall not be liable for payment of annual subscriptions during that time.
d) Student Membership of the Association shall be open to any postgraduate student of politics or associated discipline. Student Members shall have voting rights at Annual General Meetings, and are liable to payment of annual subscriptions.
3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
a) There shall be an Executive Committee (EC) of the Association consisting of two categories.
b) The first category of EC membership shall comprise nine members elected for 3-year terms. At least one of these members should be located at a third-level institution in the Republic of Ireland, and at least one at a third-level institution in Northern Ireland. It is from these members that the officer board shall be selected.
c) The second category of EC membership shall comprise the following additional members:
i. The PhD student representative (co-opted onto the EC at the preceding AGM);
ii. One of the IPS editors (who remains as an EC member for the duration of their editorship);
iii. The conference organizer (co-opted onto the EC at the preceding AGM);
iv. And any other co-options the EC deems necessary. All co-options to the EC will be made by the EC.
d) Elections for the category 1 EC members shall be staggered, with elections for three members (more if filling a vacancy due to a member leaving mid-stream) occurring each year.
e) Elections shall be conducted by single transferable vote, and shall be overseen by a returning officer appointed by the outgoing committee. Votes may only be cast in person. Candidates should be nominated no later than two weeks in advance of the AGM, with candidate lists distributed in the delegates’ conference packs.
f) The EC members shall appoint the officer board from among the category 1 members, which shall consist of the following four positions: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer.
g) The term of office for officer board positions shall normally be one year. No one may serve as President for more than three years.
h) Casual vacancies among the category 1 members of the EC shall be filled either by:-
i. the EC appointing a replacement to serve until the following AGM; or
ii. by rolling the position in to the subsequent round of elections. Casual vacancies among the category 2 members of the EC shall be filled by co-opting a replacement.
i) The President of the Association shall be the chairperson of meetings and of the Executive Committee and in the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall so act. If at any meeting, neither the President nor the Vice-President is present, the Executive Committee members present may choose an alternative chairperson for the meeting.
j) The Executive Committee may meet and otherwise despatch its business and regulate its meetings as it sees fit. A quorum shall consist of four members of the Executive Committee. Questions arising at any meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes. Where there is an equality of votes, the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.
k) The Executive Committee may delegate any of its powers to committees consisting of such members as it thinks fit; any committee so formed shall, in the exercise of the powers so delegated, conform to any regulations that may be imposed upon it by the Executive Committee.
l) The Executive Committee shall present to each Annual General Meeting, through the President, a detailed report on its activities over the previous year (including a record of attendance at its meetings) and those of the Association as a whole.
4. GENERAL MEETINGS
a) The Association shall hold an Annual General Meeting each year, to take place during the main conference.
b) At least four weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting, members of the Association shall be notified of the date and location of the meeting, and of the general nature of the business to come before the meeting.
c) Members wishing to propose a motion at a general meeting shall submit that motion to the Secretary at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
d) No business shall be transacted at any general meeting unless a quorum of members is present; ten members shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of a general meeting.
e) The President of the Association shall be the chairperson of any general meeting and in the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall so act. If at any general meeting, neither the President nor the Vice-President is present, the Executive Committee members present may choose an alternative chairperson for the meeting.
f) Motions put to a general meeting of the Association shall be decided on a show of hands (with the exception of elections to the Executive Committee which shall be conducted by single transferable vote). Where there is an equality of votes, the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.
g) The Executive Committee may, whenever they think fit, convene a Special General Meeting. Such a meeting can also be held at the request of at least 40 members of the Association, given in writing to the Secretary.
h) Votes at a general meeting may only be cast in person.
i) The accidental omission to give notice of a general meeting to, or the non-receipt of notice of a general meeting by, any member entitled to attend shall not invalidate the proceedings at that meeting.
a) The Executive Committee shall cause proper accounts to be kept, showing: all money received and expended by the Association (and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place); all sales and purchases of goods and services by the Association; and the assets and liabilities of the Association. The accounts shall be such as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the state of the Association’s affairs and to explain its transactions.
b) The accounts shall be audited and certified annually by a person designated by the Executive Committee, and the audited accounts for the year shall be submitted to the next Annual General Meeting.
c) The Association’s financial year shall end on 30 August.
d) All cheques paid out by the Association shall be signed by two persons so authorised by the Executive Committee.
6. IRISH POLITICAL STUDIES
a) The Executive Committee is empowered to negotiate and enter into contracts with publishers in respect of the production and distribution of Irish Political Studies. Subject to such negotiations, the general copyright in the title and content of the Journal is vested in the
b) The appointment of the Editors, Editorial Team or Editorial Board, and the editing and editorial policy of the Journal is the responsibility of the Association, acting through the Executive Committee. The Editors shall act as the Association’s agents, and are accountable to both the Association and the Publisher.
c) The Editors of Irish Political Studies shall present a written report of the journal’s performance to each Annual General Meeting