Category Archives: Minutes of Meetings

IRSA General Assembly, August 13 2016

International Rural Sociology Association
General Assembly
Toronto, Canada
Saturday, August 13, 2016 (11am – 1pm)

Outgoing President Geoff Lawrence opened the General Assembly by welcoming all those present. President Lawrence then reported to the Assembly that the IRSA Council had voted unanimously to accept the Nigerian Rural Sociology Association (NRSA) as an “Associate Organization” under article 3 of the IRSA Constitution. A representative who was in attendance stood up to thank IRSA and to invite all IRSA members to attend the upcoming NRSA meeting in October.

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Off-Cycle Council Meeting July 15, 2014

Off-Cycle Council Meeting
International Rural Sociology Association
Yokohama, Japan
July 15, 2014

The council meeting was called to order by President Lawrence at 13:05 without a quorum present. Those representatives present included:
a. Geoff Lawrence (President)
b. Koichi Ikegami (ARSA)
c. Keith Moore (RSS)
d. Kasimis Charalambos (ESRS)
e. Mark Shucksmith (ESRS)
f. Roger Wilkinson (AON)
g. Elizabeth Ransom (RSS)
h. Mustafa Koc (Toronto Local Arrangements Chair)
i. Ray Jussaume (Secretary-Treasurer)
President Lawrence reviewed the meeting process and agenda with those in attendance. He also shared apologies from various representatives who could not make the meeting.

Representatives were asked by the President if they had any additions to the agenda. There were none.

The minutes from the incoming 2012 Council Meeting were discussed. Roger Wilkinson noted that Shaunna Scott is a member of RSS and not ESRS.
Keith Moore made a motion to accept the 2012 minutes. Mustafa Koc seconded. The minutes were unanimously accepted. A formal vote to accept the minutes will be done by e-mail by President Lawrence.

Update from Representatives of Member Associations – AON, ARSA, ESRS, and RSS. No one was present from ALASRU and thus no announcement was made on behalf of ALASRU. Roger Wilkinson reported for AON. AON at the moment is not highly organized. There has been no activity over the past year, especially with departure of Frank Vanclay, founder of AON, from Australia to the Netherlands. The desire for something still exists. It might be possible to ask the Australasian Agri-food Research Network (AFRN) to take over leadership of the representation of this area to IRSA. Ray Jussaume made a suggestion that Roger Wilkinson talk with the other AON representatives and come up with a proposal regarding the future for Australasian/Oceanic representation on IRSA council. As there is no quorum, no official motion was made. There was a consensus that this should be done.

Koichi Ikegami stated that ARSA will have its fifth conference in September in Vientianne, Laos. President Lawrence will attend and give a keynote address. There have been 172 papers submitted and the organizers are expecting 150 attendees. East Timor, Samoa and Kazakhstan all will have attendees for the first time. The theme of the Congress will be “From Challenges to a Prosperous Rural Area.” Challenges include disaster management, as well as on the role of community in rural development. A conference proceedings will be produced and distributed.

Kasimis Charalambos reported that last year’s ESRS congress was in Florence. The next congress will be in Aberdeen in August 2015. Everyone is invited. ESRS is now going through a re-structuring. Sociologia Ruralis has a new editor and there will be a new editorial board. ESRS will also be organizing several standing research committees. Sally Shortall is in charge of this new effort. The next summer school will be in Avignon, France. Information on the summer school is posted on IRSA web site. ESRS is excited about expanding its activities, as well as strengthening contacts with IRSA and RSS. Mustafa Koc inquired about the theme of the Congress. Kasimis Charalambos replied that a call for convenors will go out this month. ESRS is also working to update its web site.

Elizabeth Ransom reported for RSS. RSS is doing well, but Ralph Brown is seriously ill and the Society is working on trying to keep the transition as smooth as possible. The Society has re-signed with Riley-Blackwell to publish the journal. Steve Sapp is the incoming editor of Rural Sociology. Cynthia Struthers will be the new executive director in 2015. RSS is interested in improving relations with ESRS. The coming year will be a transition year. This year’s meeting is in New Orleans. In two years, the meeting will be in Toronto. The meetings next year (2015) will be in Madison.

Possible Bids for IRSA 2020 World Congress (Stewart Lockie)

The possibility of Cairns, Australia, as a site for the IRSA 2020 Congress was discussed. The Cairns Institute has expressed interest in hosting the World Congress. And, President Lawrence has begun discussions with people at the Institute about the possibility. Cairns has good transportation access as it is a world tourist destination. The Institute is more focused on the tropical world. So, this WOULD influence what the theme of the plenaries and special events should be – i.e. the tropical world. We are looking for stronger participation from the Pacific Region. We would also need to identify a program chair. The Institute would want to focus on local arrangements. Elizabeth Ransom asked if there are any folks in the area who might be interested in serving on the scientific team. Geoff Lawrence believes there may be people in Australian Sociological Association who would be interested. He noted that this is but a preliminary discussion. Keith stated that this should afford an opportunity to also incorporate African issues into the program. Mark Shucksmith wondered if the Institute would “buy in.” The council looks forward to a formal proposal in two years’ time at its next meeting.

Budget Update – Including Dues Payable (Ray)

Ray presented the current budget. It was noted that the primary expenditure for IRSA is maintaining the web site. Roger Wilkinson made a motion to accept the budget. Mustafa Koc seconded. The motion was passed by voice.

IRSA tax status

Ray noted that after nearly a year of back and forth, IRSA tax status in the United States has now been resolved.

IRSA World Congress in Toronto 2016 (Mustafa Koc)
Geoff Lawrence noted that the official document to have Toronto host the next Congress was signed earlier this year. Clare Hinrichs now has a team working on the academic program. The call for session proposals will go out in September. Registration will begin on April 1, 2016. Mustafa Koc reported that Phil Mount will co-chair the program committee with Clare Hinrichs. Patricia Albenese is co-chair with Mustafa on local arrangements. This will help ensure continuity. The local arrangements committee is still working with Ryerson University on specific arrangements (such as access to classrooms). As much as possible, the committee is using internal resources to organize the Congress. The Congress web site is ready. Suggestions on improving the web site are welcome. RSS will hold its 2016 meetings in Toronto from the 6th to 10th. IRSA will be from the 10th to 14th. Leif Jensen of Penn State will be President of RSS during 2016 and is in the same department as Clare Hinrichs. Mustafa Koc asked about how many plenaries were a good number. Mark Shucksmith said that five or six were normal. Geoff Lawrence suggested that Mustafa Koc look at the Portugal Congress as a model from which to work.

IRSA Website (Geoff Lawrence)

Elizabeth Ransom stated that in the history of RC-40 it was the Secretary who asked council members on a routine basis to contribute something to the newsletter/web site. So, perhaps Geoff Lawrence should approach individual members from time to time to get contributions to Council’s Corner on the web site. Geoff will do this.

Possibilities for the Formation of an African Rural Sociology Branch (Keith Moore to introduce)

Keith Moore led the discussion. We need a better approach for expanding the African presence in IRSA. A survey of African Rural Sociologists would be difficult because there is no good list. How do we create an organization that could develop a network that would grow? What is the population that we think we are organizing? Who are African rural sociologists? There are certainly no rural sociology departments/programs in Africa. Many African rural sociologists may be more interested with links to the north than links with each other (for mutual support and to gain resources). Also, perhaps we should focus on individual countries or regions? Keith is exploring these questions as well as what kind of agriculturally-related scientific societies exist and operate.


Geoff Lawrence thanked everyone and stated that next Council meeting will be on 8/10/16.

Respectfully submitted by Raymond A. Jussaume Jr., Secretary-Treasurer

Incoming Council Meeting August 3, 2012

Incoming Council Meeting
International Rural Sociology Association
Lisbon, Portugal
August 3, 2012

The incoming council meeting was called to order by President Lawrence at 14:40 p.m. Those present included:

a. Sylvia Cloquel (ALASRU)
b. Miguel Samano (ALASRU)
c. Carol Richards (AON)
d. Vaughan Higgins (AON)
e. Koichi Ikegami (ARSA)
f. Terry Marsden (ESRS)
g. Elizabeth Ransom (RSS)
h. Keith Moore (RSS)
i. Shaunna Scott (ESRS)
j. Geoffrey Lawrence (President)
k. Raymond Jussaume (Secretary-Treasurer)
l. Mustafa Koc (Past Program Chair AND incoming Local Arrangements Chair)
m. Reidar Almas (Past President)

The meeting began with the new ALASRU delegates making themselves known. This was followed by brief self-introductions of all who were present. It was then noted by the President that during the meeting a discussion would be needed regarding dates for the upcoming Toronto World Congress, and that Terry Marsden would give a report on the book series he is involved with.

Next, one representative of each of the regional organizations provided a report to the council. Dr. Ikegami reported that the most recent ARSA meeting was held in the Phillippines. The next meeting of ARSA will be held in 2014 in the PDR of Laos. Dr. Cloquel reported that the next meeting of ALASRU will be in 2014 in Mexico City. Dr. Cloquel also expressed the sentiment that ALASRU would like to expand its participation in IRSA. Dr. Ransom reported that the RSS just had its 75th meeting in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Dr. Marsden reported that next meeting of ESRS will be in 2013 in Florence, Italy. Gianluca Brunori is organizing that meeting and the theme will be “Rural Resilience and Vulnerability” is the theme. The AON representatives reported that AON membership wishes to engage more with countries in regions outside of Australia and New Zealand. More clarification on the various regional boundaries is needed. An agro-food meeting will be held in December in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

At this point, the Council moved on to the election of the First and Second Vice-Presidents. Koichi Ikegami nominated Lutgarda Tolentino for the position of First Vice-President. Terry Marsden self-nominated for the position of First Vice-President. Dr. Marsden made a brief statement in support of his self-nomination. A vote by ballot was then held. The final vote was Marsden 7, Tolentino 5. Thus, Terry Marsden is the new IRSA first vice president. Elizabeth Ransom subsequently nominated Lutgarda Tolentino for the position of Second Vice President. Lutgarda Tolentino was acclaimed IRSA second vice president by unanimous voice vote. As Dr. Tolentino was not at the meeting, she will be informed by e-mail of the result of the vote.

Secretary-Treasurer Ray Jussaume made a brief presentation on what transpired at the outgoing council meeting. This covered the major points as noted in the minutes of the outgoing council meeting.

Mustafa Koc presented an update on the current World Congress on behalf of Manuel Moreira. Dr. Koc said recognized several small organizational problems, but reported that overall, the hosting for the current World Congress has been excellent. Organizers have been helpful, polite and have responded well to needs of participants. As to the academic program, Dr. Koc reported that several Congress participants has expressed concern that the opening plenary program had not been intellectually diverse enough. There were some challenges with making the plenary diverse, but Dr. Koc stated that he and the Toronto program chair(s) will work hard to improve the plenary sessions in the future by making them more balanced.

Mustafa Koc went on to the note that the attendance at the Lisbon Congress was the largest since the World Congress in Rio de Janeiro. In particular, the current Congress is marked by excellent attendance from South America and Asia. One contributing factor to the improved attendance may have been the policy to allow people to present in their native language as long as powerpoint slides were made available in English.

Reidar Almas encouraged the scientific committee for Toronto to be broad, in particular to be much broader than agricultural sociology, and also to encourage greater participation from North America.

President Lawrence extended his thanks to Mustafa Koc for his report.

A discussion on the Toronto bid for the 2016 World Congress, which was approved at the outgoing council meeting on July 29th, followed. The sentiment was expressed that this was a good proposal. The dates for the Congress will be solidified later after consultation with RSS, which apparently has already decided on the location and dates of its 2016 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Koc reported that the Toronto bid was backed by a very good team. The location is very good. Many of the organizers have lots of experience with conferences. The program committee will be assembled in August. An important coordination effort will be made to make it possible for folks to attend both the World Congress and RSS, which will be held in Seattle, Washington, USA. The secretary-Treasurer suggested that the organizers develop three budget scenarios, based on attendance, and Reidar Almas further suggested adding a “break-even” point.

The council then shifted its discussion to possible sites for the World Congress in 2020. Geoff Lawrence invited ideas for that Congress. Dr. Almas mentioned that the first two years of the next four year cycle will see more discussion about possible sites for 2020. He suggested a broad approach. Discussions should get more serious in 2014, around the time of the next council meeting, which will be held in Yokohama, Japan during the ISA Congress. President Lawrence extended an invitation for ideas for the 2020 Congress to the member associations.

The next discussion item was the IRSA web site. Dr. Lawrence likes the current web site. It is well organized. Individuals can now “like” the IRSA web site on facebook. Dr. Lawrence would like more information from member organizations about how to improve the web site’s exposure. He asked for suggestions from council members about the web site. Elizabeth Ransom suggested that the link be updated to include information on the Toronto Congress as quickly as possible. Carol Richards suggested announcing the “like” option for facebook during the general assembly. Terry Marsden suggested a link to the book series. Reidar Almas would like more reports for “rural sociologists in the media.” Geoff Lawrence mentioned that we will continue with the same web master for at least one year. Further discussions will be had later.

Geoff Lawrence then updated the council on IRSA’s Africa efforts. He is interested in setting up an advisory task force with the goal of expanding efforts to engage with scholars in Africa. Carol Richard’s asked why there is a focus on Africa? How about targeting other areas? Ray Jussaume suggested the Near East and North Africa as additional areas of emphasis. Terry Marsden suggested that IRSA should work with ISA to make connections with African sociologists. Mustafa Koc said that we might consider targeting the ISA – Yokohama meeting for a “take-off” on this initiative. Reidar Almas reminded everyone that IRSA is a “federal association” of regional rural sociology associations. Africa is THE major underrepresented region. He also stated that he thought going through ISA is a good idea. Additionally, we might consider surveying existing organizations that work in Africa. Elizabeth Ransom agreed that an initiative is needed and proposed Keith Moore as a potential member for that task force. Keith Moore responded by stating that we need a set of definite tasks. African scientists are more organized by NGOs than by universities. President Lawrence suggested working with the vice presidents and the secretary-treasurer to develop a more concrete proposal. Marsden and Moore suggested using creative methods to tie into current mobilizations, such as web conferences involving African scholars.

A discussion ensured about posting Congress papers to the web site and publishing 2012 Congress papers. Dr. Almas reported that the are some proposals to put papers on the IRSA web page, but does not think this is very valuable. However, there is also a tradition of publishing some papers. There was a volume of Korea papers edited by Bonanno et al. Mara Miele has asked for volunteers to be a lead editor for a volume from the Congress. There have been some proposals related to RC-40.

Terry Marsden has been editor for a rural studies series for about 5 years. Has become quite successful. There are now 19 volumes in print. The current publisher seems to be interested in more than one volume per year. However, some ideas are needed for future books. Terry is the series editor, but does not edit individual books. Reidar Almas noted that one problem with posting papers on web sites is that all local arrangements organizers prefer to have own web site, and not use the official IRSA web site. It would be expensive for IRSA to be the “only” web site. The council then suggested that Mustafa Koc start a “local” 2016 Toronto web site as soon as possible.

MOTION: It was then moved that the next meeting of the IRSA Council take place during the XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology in Yokohama, Japan, July 13-19, 2014. The motion was made by Carol Richards and seconded by Mustafa Koc. The motion was unanimously accepted by voice acclamation.

Respectfully submitted by Raymond A. Jussaume Jr., Secretary-Treasurer

Out-Going Council Meeting July 29, 2012

Out-Going Council Meeting
International Rural Sociology Association
Lisbon, Portugal
July 29, 2012

The outgoing council meeting was called to order by President Almas at 14:47 without a quorum present. The decision was made that any necessary votes on motions would be taken via e-mail by Reider Almas. It was also noted that the incoming secretary-treasurer had agreed to take the minutes of the meeting in lieu of the outgoing secretary-treasurer. Those present included:

a. Sonia Bergamasco (ALASRU)
b. Geoff Lawrence (incoming president)
c. Lynda Chesire (AON and V.P.)
d. Charlambos Kasimis (ESRS)
e. Elizabeth Ransom (RSS)
f. Mustafa Koc (current program chair)
g. David Hansen (outgoing Secretary-Treasurer)
h. Stephanie Scott (guest from Canada)
i. Tom Dunk (guest from Canada)
j. Diego Pineiro (guest from ALASRU)
k. Muirhead Bruce (guest from Canada)
l. Ms. Hao (Toronto convention bureau)
m. Manuel Moreira (current Local Arrangements Chair)
n. Ray Jussaume (RSS and incoming secretary-treasurer)
o. Reidar Almas (outgoing president)

The minutes from the 2008 and 2010 meetings, which were previously approved by e-mail, were briefly discussed. Perhaps the major ongoing issue is the lack of representation from Africa. There is no active rural sociological association in Africa. IRSA has been trying for 10 years to get a regional association started in Africa.

The council next heard a report on the status of the Lisbon Congress from Manuel Moreira. Dr. Moreira noted that the Lisbon Congress originally registered 1,008 individuals, who together submitted nearly 1,500 abstracts. Some have subsequently dropped out. A final registration number will be forthcoming. All sponsorships received for the Congress have been in kind. There have been no major financial donations. Overall, it appears the Congress will cover its expenses and the 10,000 euros that will be owed to IRSA. Also, it was noted that the Lisbon Congress is allowing individuals to make presentations in their native languages so long as there is an English powerpoint. This has increased participation. For example, there almost 200 participants from Brazil and 90 from Mexico.

On behalf of the program committee, Dr. Moutafa Koc reported that the Lisbon Congress has seventy-one workshops. Mara Miele and Marie-Christine Renard have been very helpful co-chairs. Everything seems to be going well. This appears to be the best Congress turnout since Rio de Janeiro Congress

At this point, Dr. Koichi Ikegami from ARSA entered. A Quorum was now present and all votes could proceed as normal!

A Quadrennial Report was next delivered by Dr. David Hansen, the outgoing secretary-treasurer. Dr. Hanson noted that according to the IRSA by-laws, association dues payments should be made every four years. However, IRSA often bills early to help make it easier for member associations to pay. Thus, the question is whether we should change the by-laws. Dr. Hanson also noted that IRSA membership with ISA costs $150.00 per year!

Lynda Chesire suggested that the link to the current IRSA web site was not as obvious as it should be. She also stated that Michael Woods of the Journal for Rural Studies would like to communicate with IRSA. There will be a brown bag about journals on 8/2 during the Congress.

Geoff Lawrence then asked whether there were e-copies available of the book edited by Bonanno et al.? He also asked how many copies were sold? Hopefully these questions can be relayed to Dr. Bonanno.

MOTION: At this point Lynda Chesire moved that the quadrennial report presented by D. Hansen be accepted. Mustafa Koc seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously accepted by voice acclamation.

David Hansen then gave the financial report. He noted that it appears that the full payment would be received from the Lisbon organizers. This is good news as the World Congress is IRSA’s main source of income. David Hansen also noted that all regional associations are up to date in their dues payments to 2011 and the financial statement is also up to date. One thing that is a big help to the budget is that many of the leaders are paying for some or all of their own expenses when they attended Congresses.

MOTION: At this point Charlambos Kasimis moved that the financial report presented by D. Hansen be accepted. Manuel Moreira seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously accepted by voice acclamation.

The Council then heard the presentation for the Canadian bid for the 2016 World Congress by Mustafa Koc. Supporting Dr. Koc were several individuals in attendance from Canada. Dr. Koc said that several universities in the Toronto area were participating in the bid. The meetings will be based out of Ryerson University. The organizers would hope to raise funds and use any Congress surplus to support participation by scholars in the south. There is also an interest in trying to coordinate better with the RSS meetings. Dr. Koc asked for advice from the council as to how that might be done/

Elizabeth Ransom asked if anyone knew what the dates of RSS and ASA would be in 2016.

Lynda Chesire asked about conference rooms. Dr. Koc noted that all rooms will be booked until 8:00 just to keep them available. There are no plans to have sessions until 8:00. Sessions will be held until 6:30, but rooms will be open until 8:00.

Geoff Lawrence asked if more details about funds for awards for southern participation could be presented in the near future.

MOTION: Lynda Chesire then moved that Toronto, Canada be recognized as the location for the 2016 World Congress and that the Executive Committee finalize a Memorandum of Understanding for the hosting of the Congress. Charlambos Kasimis seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously accepted by voice acclamation.

A general discussion on several issues of concern then took place. The first item had to do with the publication of papers on the IRSA website and whether there will be a book coming from the Lisbon web site. It was noted that about 50 papers, out of a total of 1,500 abstracts, have been posted to the Congress, and not the IRSA, web site. David Hansen stated that IRSA should continue with the practice of posting papers – especially for the benefit of Scholars from the South. However, the web site needs to state clearly that these papers are not reviewed. This issue will be discussed more at the outgoing council meeting

It was then asked who the Program Chair for Toronto will be? Mustafa Koc expressed that diversity is important for the program committee. There is also a need for a good structure. It is important to balance such a committee with a hierarchical structure, i.e. to have a chair and assistant chair.

The issue of the role of Past Presidents also came up. Specifically, should there be a formal role for ex-Presidents on the executive committee? This would require a change to the by-laws. Elizabeth stated that changing by-lays sometimes lead to new structures that subsequently need to be changed in the future.

Mustafa Koc suggested that perhaps past president could have half a term ex officio role. Ransom and Kasimis wondered whether it was necessary to formalize such a process? Geoff Lawrence stated that perhaps we should focus on immediate past presidents. More discussion on this issue will take place at the incoming council meeting

With respect to future Issues, President Almas stated that he believes that IRSA needs an advisory committee to help with providing advice. This could also be a useful mechanism for broadening participation from the south, including Africa.

Reports from the Regional Associations were postponed until the incoming council meeting on Friday.

Reidar Almas extended his thanks to the council and especially to David Hansen, to whom he presented an “outstanding service award” on behalf of IRSA.

MOTION: Geoff Lawrence asked if someone would move for a formal vote of thanks to the outgoing council. The motion was made by Manuel Moreira and seconded by Mustafa Koc. The motion was unanimously accepted by voice acclamation.

Respectfully submitted by Raymond A. Jussaume Jr., Secretary-Treasurer

Minutes for Council Meeting July 13, 2010

Minutes for Council Meeting
Gothenberg, Sweden
July 13, 2010

Reidar Almas, Center for Rural Research, Norway (ESRS)
Lynda Cheshire, University of Queensland, Australia (AON)
Elizabeth Ransom, University of Richmond, United States (RSS)
Ray Jussaume, Washington State University, United States (RSS)
Surichai Wun’Gaeo, The Rotary Peace University, Thailand (ARSA)
Manuel Moreira, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal (ESRS)
Mustafa Koc, Ryerson University, Canada (RSS)
David Hansen, The Ohio State University, United States (RSS)
Masashi Tachikawa, Ibaraki University, Japan (Representing Keigo Ikegami) (ARSA)

Yoshio Kawamura, Ryukoko University (Executive Committee)
Christine Stirling, University of Tasmania (AON)
Roger Wilkinson, Government of Victoria (AON)
Susana Aparicio, University of Buenos Aires (ALASRU)
Sonia Bergamasco, University of Campinas (ALASRU)
Fernando Guerrero, Catholic University of Ecuador (ALASRU)
Lutgarda Tolentino. University of the Philippines – Los Banos (ARSA)
Bettina Bock, Wageningen University (ESRS)
Charalambos Kisimis, Agricultural University of Athens (ESRS)
Paul Milbourne, Cardiff University
Hans Bakker, University of Guelph (RSS)

IRSA President, Reidar Almas, opened the Council meeting at 18:00. He expressed his appreciation to those present for having made the effort to attend. He then asked each of them to briefly introduce themselves to others in the room.

Reidar Almas then asked for reports about activities being undertaken by different regional associations. Lynda Cheshire updated those in attendance about current activities being undertaken through the AON. She mentioned that AON is a virtual community consisting around 300 members who belong to an e-list. She mentioned that Frank Vanclay, who was responsible for the network, has moved to Holland. However, she also mentioned that the Australian National University has recently established an Institute for Rural Australia and that the director of this institute will take leadership for the AON. She mentioned that expectations are that this Institute anticipates organizing a number of local meetings and conferences. She also described the Agri-Food Research Network, which is affiliated with the AON, indicating that it holds an annual conference. This year it will be held from 11/29 to 12/1 in Melbourne. She also mentioned that the 2009 conference was held in New Zealand.

Surichai Wun’gaeo then spoke for ARSA. He indicated that an ARSA Council Meeting will be held the end of August. He also mentioned that ARSA will hold a regional conference in Legaspi City, Philippines from September 6-10 at Bicol University. Masashi Tachikawa distributed a flyer describing this international conference, the theme of which is “The Multidimensionality of Economy, Energy and Environmental Crises and their Implications to the Rural Livelihoods.”
Surichai Wun’gaeo and Masashi Tachikawa invited all to attend this event.

Since there were no Council members from ALASRU present, Manuel Moreira, Technical University of Lisbon, spoke for them. He indicated that a major ALASRU conference will be held near Recife, Brazil on November 15-19.

Reidar Almas reported on activities of the ESRS. He mentioned that the conference which it sponsored the previous year in Vasa, Finland was a big success with 470 in attendance. He indicated that there is an upsurge of interest in rural studies in Europe, in part resulting from the rural development dimension of the European Common Agricultural Policy. This has stimulated a series of studies and academic interest in rural populations. He also indicated that the entry of Eastern European nations has added many new rural dwellers to the European Union. The result has been increased interest among young scientists in rural studies. He indicated that the next ESRS meeting will be held in Crete. He also mentioned that the journal, Sociologia Ruralis, is again in good standing, with a top rating and with many articles being submitted to it for publication.

Elizabeth Ransom reported on activities of the Rural Sociological Society. She mentioned that the Annual Meeting will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in August. She also indicated that the RSS has a new executive office at which Ralph Brown is the Executive Director. She mentioned that next year’s annual meeting will be held in Boise, Idaho and that the book series sponsored by RSS is changing publishers. Ray also mentioned that the RSS Council is considering creation of a mini-summer school for young scholars that would be held immediately prior to the annual meeting. Reidar Almas commented on the difference in trends between the U.S. and Europe. While interest seems to be waning in the U.S., it has been increasing in Europe.

Ray Jussaume, Deputy Program Chair for the Seoul World Congress, informed that several publications are being prepared using papers presented at the World Congress. One is being edited by Alessandro Bonanno, Hans Bakker and Ray Jussaume. It is currently in the proof state and will hopefully be published by September. He also mentioned another publication that will be released in Tokyo. It will contain a collection of papers presented at the World Congress by female Japanese participants. Mention was also made of another rural sociology and development series being put out by Emerald Publisher. The editor for this series is Terry Marsden, Wales.

Reidar Almas then turned the Council’s attention to the upcoming World Congress to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2012. Manuel Moreira, Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee indicated that the First Call for this Congress has been made and invited all to review the brochure found in the registration packet given to attendees of the conference. He indicated that most sessions will be held on the campus of the Technical University of Lisbon. However, he indicated that should large number register, it may be necessary to go to a separate building with a large auditorium for the inaugural activities. He mentioned that the first day will consist of a number of presentations by invited speakers. He indicated that he is in the process of contacting foundations to solicit support for the Congress including the Portuguese Council for Science and Technology. He also mentioned that he anticipated that the Luso-American Foundation will provide support for the participation of invited speakers, especially from North America. He also indicated that he intends to contact European Embassies in Portugal to request that they support travel to the Congress of speakers from their respective nations.

He mentioned that one day of the Congress will be devoted to tours. Among options that they are considering are tours to areas that were involved in the agrarian reform of 1975, to organic farms and to typical agrarian schemes, such as those which undertake extensive grazing. He also mentioned the possibility of visiting Portuguese wineries and fishing communities close to Lisbon.

The registration fee for the Congress has provisionally been set at three different levels. Tentatively, Europeans, North Americans, etc. would be expected to pay an early registration fee of 250 Euros or a late fee of 300 Euros. Attendees from transitional nations would be expected to pay an early registration fee of 200 Euros and a late registration fee of 250 Euros. Students and representatives of developing nations would be expected to pay an early registration fee of 150 Euros and a late registration fee of 200 Euros.

The Local Arrangements Committee is in the process of procuring help from a local firm with substantial experience in organizing conferences. He indicated that accommodations for attendees would not be a problem since there has been a surge in hotels, etc. He indicated that transportation to/from hotels may be problematical since many of the hotels are located downtown rather than near the campus where meetings will be held. Considerable discussion ensued about transportation options and Manuel indicated that he would be following up on alternatives.

Mustafa Koç, Chair of the Program Committee for the upcoming World Congress, reported on its activities. He indicated that they are following the 4M principle which reflects the membership of this Committee – Mustafa Koçc, Mara Miele, Marie Christine Renard – and assistance from Manuel Moreira. He indicated that the Committee intends to pursue a two stage process in soliciting papers for presentation. The first stage would consist of a call for session proposals. Conveners of sessions would be expected to identify themes and also invite others to participate in the sessions and solicit their abstracts and papers. The second stage would consist of an independent call for abstracts and subsequent papers. These would be submitted to Manuel Moreira. Mustafa Koç will set up a blackboard on the internet to which the initial abstracts would be posted. Members of the committee would review the abstracts and determine acceptability for the Congress. In addition to abstract quality, additional screening will be undertaken to assure that proposed abstracts are genuine. There was extensive discussion about how to call for papers and sessions. It was agreed that Session Proposals would be solicited from March – October 2011 and Paper Proposals would be solicited from September, 2011 – January, 2012.

Mustafa Koç requested those in attendance to provide the Program Committee with the names of good potential keynote speakers for the plenary sessions. He indicated that they do not necessarily have to be rural sociologies or even academics. He indicated that the Committee would provide guidance to the plenary speakers about themes that they might address. Several potential themes mentioned were local-global food systems and rural policy in Europe. He indicated that we need to think broadly in regard to themes relevant to rural society.

Reidar Almas indicated that he had been contacted by several interested parties regarding the possibility to host the 2016 World Congress. These contacts were from Venezuela, Ireland, Australia (Melbourne), Canada and Mexico. Mention was made of the possibility of holding the World Congress in Toronto by Mustafa Koç, Ryerson University. He indicated that he would be interested in contacting a number of colleagues in Toronto and surrounding areas, such as Guelph and Waterloo, with the idea being that they might collectively propose to host the World Congress. Reidar Almas asked that it be reflected in the minutes that the IRSA Council encourages the Canadians to prepare a bid for submission, but that other formal bids would also be most welcome.

Reidar Almas then informed that the IRSA website has moved from the U.S. to Norway. Mark Jarvis, former web site manager, has been replaced by Kajarten Sarheim Anthun, Trondheim. He indicated that the website has been much improved and that it has been frequented by a large number of parties. Lynda Cheshire asked if it would be possible to link the website to an e-list which could then be used to inform interested parties which new items are posted to the website. Other mechanisms to facilitate communication of IRSA news were also mentioned, such as listing IRSA on face book. Reidar Almas indicated that he would consult with the web site coordinator about these options.

Reidar Almas, then asked David Hansen, Secretary-Treasurer, to provide a financial report to the Council. He indicated that IRSA’s finances are in good shape, with about $30,000 currently at IRSA’s disposal. IRSA depends on Regional Association annual dues and returns from the quadrennial world congresses for its income. Organizers of the last World Congress in Seoul provided IRSA was a check for over $6,000. Ray Jussaume asked why a relatively large certificate of deposit had been cashed during the past year and if some of the funds were in a money market account or similar financial mechanism. David Hansen replied that interest rates on CDs are currently very low, but promised to explore alternatives and put some of the funds in the checking account into an interest bearing account. He shared information showing that the regional associations are up-to-date on payment of their annual dues. AON, ARSA, IRSA have paid their dues through 2011. ESRS and RSS have paid their dues through 2009 and will be requested to pay their dues for 2010 and 2011 on an annual basis as has been the custom.

Reidar Almas brought the Council Meeting to a close at 20:00, thanking those in attendance for having taken the time to participate in the meeting.

David O. Hansen

Council Meeting Minutes: Minutes for In-Coming Council Meeting, Seoul Korea, July 11, 2008

Charalambos Kasimis, ESRS
Raymond Jussaume, RSS
Elizabeth Ransom, RSS
Hans Bakker, RSS
Koichi Ikegami, ARSA
Ki-Whan Chung, 2008 LA Chair
Roger Wilkinson, AON
Lynda Cheshire, AON
Manuel Moreira, 2012 LA Chair
Yoshio Kawamura, 2008 Program Chair
Reidar Almas, President
David Hansen, RSS

Paul Milbourne, ESRS
Bettina Bock, ESRS
Sonia Bergamasco, ALASRU
Fernando Guerrero, ALASRU
Susana Aparicio, ALASRU
Surichai Wun’Gaeo, ARSA
Lutgarda Tolentino, ARSA
Christina Stirling, AON

Alessandro Bonanno, Past President
Henrique De Barros, ALASRU
Oakla Cho, ARSA

Reidar Almas opened the meeting at 16:10 and expressed apologies on the part of Council Members who could not attend. He then asked Alessandro Bonanno to report on the Ad Hoc Committee deliberation of publication of Congress papers as part of the Rural Studies series.

Alessandro Bonanno indicated that the Ad Hoc Committee was formed at the Out-Going Council meeting and consisted of himself, Yoshio Kawamura, Raymond Jussaume, Hans Bakker and Mark Shucksmith. They strongly support moving forward with the publication and have already initiated an informal call for papers. Roger Wilkinson asked if the book was going to be published, indicating that the discussion seemed more certain in the previous Council meeting. Alessandro Bonanno replied that it would ultimately depend on the publisher accepting what is proposed. Ray Jussaume indicated that the normal process for getting books published was to assemble the contents first. Lynda Cheshire asked if a proposal would first be submitted to a potential publisher. Alessandro Bonanno indicated that it was targeted to the Research on Rural Sociology and Development Series which is sponsored by IRSA. Oakla Cho asked how many books we are thinking of published to which Bonanno replied that it was one initially. He indicated that the Ad Hoc Committee would count on up to $5,000 as it negotiates with potential publishers. Manuel Moreira asked if we are considering an electronic publication to which Reidar Almas replied no. Lynda Cheshire indicated that contributors would probably not receive their own copies due to cost factors. Charalambos Kasimis asked if we were constrained to publish through Oxford Press and this series. Alessandro Bonanno replied that the series was sponsored by IRSA. Reidar Almas indicated that it would be important to focus on one potential publisher as the channel for publications of this sort and that the expectation would be that a similar publication would be prepared after future World Congresses.

Hans Bakker asked if the Ad Hoc Committee should look for other options for publication should the Research on Rural Sociology and Development Series reject publishing it. He mentioned that we should also leave room for other options, like additional publications in the event that many good papers are submitted for the publication. David Hansen indicated that it was our intention to publish the Congress papers on the IRSA website. Ray Jussaume indicated that he would be responsible for this along with Yoshio Kawamura and Mark Jarvis.

MOTION: Roger Wilkinson moved and Lynda Cheshire seconded that the Committee move forward with negotiation of the publication, with support of up to $5,000 from IRSA, and that it report back to Council within three months about progress in this regard (unanimously passed).

Reidar Almas then introduced the topic of the election of the 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents for IRSA. He indicated that considerable preliminary discussion had occurred about the possibility of appointing Monica Bendini to one of these positions since she had stood for the IRSA Presidency. However, he noted that By-law 6 requires that candidates be current members of the Council, so she is ineligible. He then asked Lynda Cheshire if she would accept being nominated for the position of 1st Vice President and called for a motion to this effect.

MOTION: Ray Jussaume moved and Koichi Ikegami seconded that Lynda Cheshire be appointed as 1st Vice President (unanimously passed).

Reidar Almas then proposed that we consider the nomination of Surichai Wun’Gaeo as 2nd Vice President. Koichi Ikegami indicated that he strongly supported this nomination. He further indicated that he had discussed it with Surichai Wun’Gaeo who had indicated his willingness to stand for the position.

MOTION: Koichi Ikegami moved and Roger Wilkinson seconded that Surichai Wun’Gaeo be appointed as 2nd Vice President (unanimously passed).

Reidar Almas then asked that the Council turn its attention to the current World Congress. He asked Ki-Whan Chung, Local Arrangements Committee Chair, to report out on the Congress. Ki-Whan Chung indicated that there were 375 participants registered for the World Congress of which 141 were Koreans. International participants came from 46 nations. There were 77 paper sessions and 35 working groups. Field trips were taken by 194 of the participants. He indicated that separate sessions on strategies for rural development in Korea were held and that 81 individuals participated in these sessions. The abstract book published for the Congress contained 480 abstracts; however, only 228 papers were actually presented. Eleven sessions were cancelled. Forty abstracts were received for posters and 26 posters were presented. He indicated that the coordinators of the next World Congress should think about the need to scrutinize proposed session conveners and to enforce the final deadline for registration to avoid the problems encountered at this Congress. He discussed problems of coordination that were encountered among the Local Arrangement Committee, the Program Committee and the Executive Committee of IRSA and indicated that roles and responsibilities should be clarified for future Congresses. Lynda Cheshire emphasized the importance of coordination and the role of the working group chairs. Elizabeth Ransom indicated that guidelines for conveners would be very useful. After considerable discussion, Reidar Almas requested Ki-Whan Chung to include these observations in his evaluation report.

Yoshio Kawamura, Program Chair, indicated that there is a need to be more selective in identifying working group chairs. He also seconded Ki-Whan Chung’s suggestion that there be a clear division of labor established between the Local Arrangements and Working Group committees, with roles and procedures associated with each identified beforehand. He also indicated that scholarships are essential in order to allow people to come to the Congress. He indicated that many submitters of abstracts decided not to come because of lack of financing. Ray Jussaume provided several recommendations for future Local Arrangement and Program chairs. But first he complemented the Local Arrangements Committee for the current World Congress for the excellent support provided for the Congress, noting the great efficiency of operation and support staff. He recommended (1) that we introduce the concept of working groups as self-financed units in the future in order to avoid the cancellation of proposed program activities due to lack of financing; (2) that issues, such as use of websites be discussed and clarified early on in the process of preparing for a World Congress; (3) the next World Congress coordinators give attention to the need for an appropriate division of labor, particularly as regards the roles of co-program chairs; and (4) that early attention be given to identifying and securing keynote speakers.

Reidar Almas shared the fact that a number of potential “participants” in the 2004 World Congress in Trondheim sent abstracts with the possible intention to stay in Norway without giving papers. He expressed a concern that the upcoming World Congress organizers be aware of this potential problem. Ki-Whan Chung indicated that the same problem was encountered for the current World Congress as well. Hans Bakker expressed concern about the large number of cancelled sessions and suggested that those who do not register not be listed in the program. Ray Jussaume indicated that it would be a good idea to request working group chairs to verify who was coming to their sessions prior to the Congress. He also suggested that it would be appropriate to have a slot at the beginning of the Congress when working groups could meet to plan sessions. Reidar Almas indicated that it was done in 2004 with great success. Charalombos Kasimis indicated that only 18 of the 42 papers listed for his working group were presented. Further, some working group conveners did not attend the Congress. He indicated that this needs to be avoided to ensure high quality of meetings. He argued that it would be important to screen conveners and to assure that they not request funding support to attend the Congress. He also recommended that current topics, such as the food crisis and climate change be included in the program, and that policy makers be invited to attend to participate in the debate of these issues. Oakla Cho indicated that people tend to stay longer if the papers are of high quality. She mentioned that there were some regionally centered sessions, such as those held in Korean which limited participation. Elizabeth Ransom recommended that individuals only be listed in the program if they are registered for the Congress.

MOTION: Raider Almas moved and Manuel Moreira seconded that the Local Arrangements and Program Chairs, together with their committees, be recognized for having organized an excellent and interesting Congress (Unanimously and enthusiastically approved).

Manuel Moreira then reported on preparations for the 2012 World Congress. He indicated that he would prepare guidelines for the working groups and their conveners. He said that conveners and presenters will need to register in order to be included in the program. He also noted that he will promote close collaboration between the Local Arrangements Chair and the Program Chairs. Hans Bakker asked if he might be able to prepare some materials on local values and mores to orient participants from the outside. Roger Wilkinson suggested that Lisbon should make poster presentations available to Congress participants for a longer period by putting them up well before the formal poster session.

Reidar Almas then turned to possible sites for the 2016 World Congress. He indicated that we have been approached by the University of Madras in India and that others had suggested Canada, Mexico and Australia as possible sites. Ray Jussaume brought up the potentially competing objectives of the Congress – namely to promote local development and to maximize attendance – and asked if they should be considered in selecting the 2016 site. Reidar Almas indicated that he was considering use of the IRSA website to solicit ideas about the 2016 World Congress.

He then entered into a discussion about how to use better the website. He indicated that it was important to continue to use if for news about IRSA activities, but that scientific news should also be posted – such as research results on hot topics such as climate change, food security and gender issues in the third world. Hans Bakker asked how specifically he envisioned better use of the website. Reidar Almas indicated that he would prepare a proposal in this regard to share with the Council.

He moved the conversation to the topic of strengthening ties with Africa, suggesting the need to attract more funding for liaison activities with that continent, including the formal affiliation of some Africa associations, such as the Nigerian Rural Sociology Association, with IRSA. He indicated that he would attempt to make contact with appropriate entities in Africa. He proposed a three step process, namely, (1) to identify individuals with whom to liaise; (2) to form intermediary associations and strengthen them; and (3) to stimulate them to host a World Congress in Africa.

Roger Wilkinson suggested that we request Mark Jarvis to set up a list serve to facilitate communication among Council and Executive Committee members. Reidar Almas indicated that he would come up with a proposal of priorities for the coming four years and post it to the website. He encouraged the Lisbon organizers to consider hot topics such as climate change and rising food prices as part of the program. He then indicated that we need to set the date for the next Council meeting. Ray Jussaume argued for the need for more interpersonal interaction among Council members, perhaps through teleconferences.

MOTION: Ray Jussaume moved and Hans Bakker seconded that the next meeting of the IRSA Council take place during the VII World Congress of the International Sociological Association to be held from July 11 to 17, 2008 in Gothenburg, Sweden (unanimously approved).

Reidar Almas called the meeting to a close at 18:00.

General Assembly Minutes

Minutes from IRSA General Assembly Meeting
XII World Congress of Rural Sociology
July 10, 2008


The General Assembly was attended by 70 delegates. A full listing of names and affiliations is found in the appendix.

Alessandro Bonanno opened the General Assembly at 16:05. He asked that we move along in a timely fashion.

He then announced his successor, Prof. Reidar Almas, Trondheim, Norway, who was acknowledged by those in attendance. He then proceeded to introduce the Out-Going and In-Coming Regional Association Council Representatives and the Presidents of the Regional Associations. He asked that Frank Vanclay, former President of IRSA and Convener for AON, to stand to be recognized.

Alessandro Bonanno then discussed an important issue related to the changing scenario for international meetings, namely, the appropriate location for meetings. He indicated that the concept of geography has taken on a new meaning, due in large measure to the information technology age in which we live. In addition to physical space and spatial distribution, he noted that we also need to consider population, income, education and other factors. In this context, he argued that institutional capacity building and rural development objectives of IRSA might be better met if we hold Congresses in regions that will attract high income delegates because by attracting many full registration paying delegates, we can generate funds that will enable representatives from these locations to attend the meetings through the provision of scholarships. He then opened the floor for comments on this topic.

Frank Vanclay mentioned that he felt that it was symbolically important for IRSA Congresses to be in all locations across the world; that the cultural experiences and other learning acquired from being on site in different settings is important as well as the intellectual stimulation from congresses. Further, he doubted whether IRSA could offer as many scholarships as the access made possible by holding Congresses in diverse locations. Reidar Almas indicated that he supports working in Africa, but he argued that there is a need to build capacity prior to holding meeting on that continent. He suggested that we consider holding the 2020 meeting in Africa and we be sure to seek scholarship support from international entities such as FAO. Mark Shucksmith indicated that the fundamental question should be whether or not to go where most rural sociologists are found or to where we can build capacity. David Hansen expressed the need to consider finances and the need to keep IRSA solvent. He also expressed the need to consider a 12 year planning horizon. Ray Jussaume questioned the relative importance of generating funds. David Brown argued for the need to strengthen contributions to scholarship and the potential to use the IRSA website as a portal for individuals to report on their research. Larry Busch opinioned that publication of abstracts was a waste of funds. He supported publication of the best papers from the Congress in a proceedings publication, but argued that we should consider doing it electronically which would be much less expensive.

MOTION: Moved by Alessandro Bonanno and seconded by Frank Vanclay that the minutes of the 2004 General Assembly which was held in Trondheim, Norway at the XI World Congress of Rural Sociology, be approved. (Unanimously Approved).

David Hansen then presented the Quadrennial Report (see appendix for Report).

MOTION: Moved by David Hansen and seconded by Frank Vanclay that the Report be accepted by the General Assembly (Passed without comment).

David Hansen then presented the Financial Report which indicates that IRSA currently has about $30,000 in its checking and savings accounts. Membership dues are up to 2007, with the exception of AON which has paid up to 2011. Major outlays during the past four years have been for travel by the IRSA Executive Committee and for website maintenance. The books were audited by Prof. Bill Flinn, Past President of the RSS, who certified that the accounts are in order (see appendix for Report).

Frank Vanclay suggested that it was not appropriate to put the detailed financial transactions on the website. Appropriate transparency was provide by this information being provided in the context of a General Assembly, but that it was undesirable to make them open to all on the website where they could be taken out of context. David Brown asked about whether or not this Congress would generate a surplus and asked how IRSA might react if no surplus was generated. Alessandro Bonanno indicated that IRSA has sufficient funds to continue to function normally in the event that no funds were generated for IRSA from this Congress. David Hansen indicated that the hosts had signed an MOA committing to pay a minimum of $10,000 to IRSA. He indicated that the IRSA Executive Committee and Council would need to consider appropriate action in the event that this payment was not to be forthcoming. David Brown suggested that in order ot ensure that IRSA retain its “non-profit” status, the Secretary-Treasurer needs to confirm whether IRS requirements demand that the finances be audited by a CPA rather than simply by a responsible person. Hansen indicated that he would check this out with his personal CPA.

MOTION: Moved by Alessandro Bonanno and seconded by Hans Bakker that the Financial Report be accepted by the General Assembly (Passed).

Manuel Moreira then presented the proposal to hold the XIII World Congress in 2012 in Lisbon, Portugal.

MOTION: Moved by Alessandro Bonanno and seconded by Larry Bush that the General Assembly note the proposal to host the XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology submitted by the Technical University of Lisbon (Passed).

Alessandro Bonanno then opened the floor for further discussion about future priority activities of IRSA, initiating the discussion by bringing the topic of how to increase participation in IRSA activities to the floor. Hans Bakker indicated that we should consider changing the content of World Congresses from rural sociology to rural studies more generally. He indicated that most sessions are focused on problem resolution which calls for inputs from related disciplines that should also be invited to participate in the World Congress programs. David Brown spoke to the low participation by delegates from RSS at the World Congress. He indicated that the problem was not with the Congress or with IRSA, but rather with some sweeping changes occurring in rural sociology in the U.S. Frank Vanclay highlighted the value of the detailed minutes from the previous General Assembly and that attention should be given to building on previous discussions and to provide continuity to dialogue regarding outstanding issues. He specifically indicated the need to consider developing Vision, Mission and Value statements for IRSA as suggested in the 2004 Minutes to provide appropriate direction for future program development, such as a broad focus to address rural development concerns. He asked that the General Assembly thank David Hansen for his excellent work on behalf of IRSA as Secretary-Treasurer, including preparation of minutes (passed with applause). Surichai Wun’Gaeo mentioned the need to increase participation in IRSA activities, which would reflect a world wide tendency. He said that we should consider key themes, such as climate change and food security at future meetings. He also argued for the need to promote greater engagement of regional associations. Bill Friedland provocatively suggested that we should eliminate the word “rural” from our title because many problems being addressed by us are not exclusive to rural areas. He also wondered whether we should delete the work “sociology” if we strayed too far from our core discipline. He also argued for the need to give greater emphasis to the publication of papers presented at IRSA events and to the building of ties with academic journals. Adepo Madupe mentioned the need to consider gender issues more thoroughly in the programs as well as the need to increase fellowships and other types of support for representatives from those coming greater distance. Mark Shucksmith argued for the need to do a better job of marketing IRSA and it potential contributions to development agencies. He stressed the relevance of IRSA topics and meetings papers to policy makers and to practitioners. He argued that IRSA should invite representatives of appropriate agencies, such as FAO and the World Bank, to come to meetings to enter into dialogue with us. Finally, he argued for greater use of the IRSA website to facilitate more direct links with these agencies. Manuel Moreira indicated that there will be three levels of fees for the next World Congress (in a manner similar to the ISA congresses). The focus of Congress will be on rural studies and those who present papers in this session should be encouraged to publish them.

Incoming President, Reidar Almas thanked Alessandro Bonanno for his enormous contributions to IRSA and presented him with a plaque of appreciation for his efforts.

Reidar Almas then provided a brief overview of priorities for IRSA during his tenure as President of IRSA. (1) He committed IRSA to work closely with the Portuguese to make the next Congress a success. Themes such as community studies, food prices and climate change will be emphasized. (2) He mentioned that attention will be given to capacity building in Africa and the possibility of holding the 2020 World Congress on that continent. (3) He indicated that both on line and on paper publication of research produced through participation in IRSA activities will be a priority. (4) He stressed that he will give great attention to maintaining the financial health of IRSA. (5) He mentioned that he will emphasize gender concerns as well as diversity which would be pursued through more active participation of members of the regional associations and individuals from other regions as well.

Yoshio Kawamura, Program Chair, then discussed the current World Congress. He indicated that over 470 abstracts had been received and 38 working groups organized to facilitate the presentation of papers. He indicated that more than 350 individuals had registered for the Congress. He also mentioned that over 100 applications for scholarships that were available had been received and screened by program committee representatives. He indicated that many potential presenters failed to attend the Congress because they lacked the financial means to attend. Finally, he indicated that there would be a poster session the following day and encouraged participants to stop by to review them.

MOTION: Moved by Alessandro Bonnano and seconded by Hans Bakker that the General Assembly thank the Local Arrangements Chair and Committee and the Program Chair and Committee for having facilitated an excellent Congress (enthusiastically passed by acclamation).

Under other Business, Erland Eklund, Finland, then made a power point presentation on the upcoming ESRS Congress to be held in Vaasa, Finland in 2009.

Alessandro Bonanno asked if there were any other matters of business to be considered. Hearing none, he called the meeting to a close at 18:15.

Name Institutional Affiliation Regional Assoc.
Siwarak Siwarom Chiang Mai University, Thailand ARSA
Saowalah Chaytaweep Maejo University, Thailand ARSA
Marie-Christine Renard University of Chapingo, Mexico ALASRU
Masai Tsutsumi Yamanashi Prefectural University, Japan ARSA
Sadao Tohumno Kuramoto University, Japan ARSA
Nakamichi Hitomi Ehime University, Japan ARSA
Buapun Promphakping Khon Kaen University, Thailand ARSA
Koichi Ikegami Kinki University, Japan ARSA
David Hansen Ohio State University, USA RSS
Nina Glasgow Cornell University, USA RSS
David Brown Cornell University, USA RSS
Majda Cernic Istenic University of Isubijana, Turkey ESRS
Marit S. Haugen Centre for Rural Research, Norway ESRS
Lawrence Busch Michigan State University, USA RSS
Lynda Cheshire University of Queensland, Australia AON
Mark Shucksmith Newcastle University, UK ESRS
Okpyo Moon Academy of Korean Studies, Korea ARSA
Kyong-Cheol, Park Peking University, China ARSA
Motoki Akitsu Kyoto University, Japan ARSA
Keiko Tanaka University of Kentucky, USA RSS
Shun Mukasa Mie University, Japan ARSA
Shingo Teraoka Nara Women’s University, Japan ARSA
Masashi Tachikawa Ibaraki University, Japan ARSA
Kotaro Ohara Mie University, Japan ARSA
Zhan Jin Minami Kyushu Junior College, Japan ARSA
Maria Almanza S. University of Chapingo, Mexico ALASRU
Vachya L. University of Hyderabad, India ARSA
Yatindra Singh MPISSR, ujjain, India ARSA
Sanjay Singh Dr. RMN National Law University, India ARSA
Ganesh Ch. Mallick University of North Bengal, India ARSA
Raymond Jussaume Washington State University, USA RSS
Yoshio Kawamura Ryukoku University, Japan ARSA
Md. AlaaEldin AbdelKader Alexandria University, Egypt ESRS
Erland Eklund Abo Akademi University, Finland ESRS
Charalambos Kasimis Agricultural University of Athens, Greece ESRS
Roger Wilkinson Dept. of Primary Studies, Victoria, Australia AON
Loka Ashwood National University of Ireland ESRS
Ramaniah Gangapatnam University of Hyderabad, India ARSA
A. Karuppiah University of Madras, India ARSA
Chija Kim Seoul National University ARSA
Jiwoong Cheong Seoul National University ARSA
Josefa Salete Cavalcanti Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil ALASRU
Oakla Cho Sogang University, Korea ARSA
Lourdes Perkins National Autonomous University, Mexico ALASRU
Joaquin Careaga National Autonomous University, Mexico ALASRU
David Burch Griffith University, Australia AON
Jungok Lee Catholic University of Daegu, Korea ARSA
Elibariki E. Msuya Kyoto University, Japan ARSA
Haruo Kuroyanagi Sugiyama Jogakuen University, Japan ARSA
Bill Friedland University of California/Santa Cruz, USA RSS
Manuel Belo Moreira Technical University of Lisbon ESRS
Frank Vanclay University of Tasmania AON
Agnes Nomeneji University Babes-Bolzai, Romania ESRS
Ruth Rossier Research Station ART, Switzerland ESRS
Reidar Almas Center for Rural Research, Norway ESRS
Krysztof Gorlach Yagiellonion University, Poland ESRS
Pawel Starosta University of Lodz, Poland ESRS
Karl Bruckmeier Gothenburg University, Sweden ESRS
Branka Krivokapic Charles Sturt University, Australia AON
Laszlo Kovacs Ritsumeizan Asia Pacific University, Japan ARSA
Geoff Lawrence University of Queensland, Australia AON
Marta Rivera Ferre Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain ESRS
Joost Dessein Institute for Agr. & Fisheries Res., Belgium ESRS
Narong Sriswas Kasetsart University, Thailand ARSA
Songwit ChuamsaKul Office of Ethnic Affairs, Thailand ARSA
Eberhard Weber Technical University of South Pacific, Fiji AON
Adebo Grace Modupe University of Aelo Elati, Nigeria NRSA*
Valerie Aphie Solomon University of Uyo, Nigeria NRSA*
Yohanes Bosco Widodo Institute of Sciences, Indonesia ARSA
Ni Hui Kyoto University, Japan ARSA
Hans Bakker University of Guelph, Canada RSS
Passanan Assavarak King Monkut Un. of Technology, Thailand ARSA
Surichai Wun’Gaeo Chulalongkorn University, Thailand ARSA
Alessandro Bonanno Sam Houston State University, USA RSS
  * Nigerian Rural Sociological Association  

Secretary-Treasurer: Quadrennial Report: 2004-2008

(1) IRSA Web Site

Mark Jarvis, Colombia, Missouri, continued as the manager of our website for the past four years. He has participated in Executive Committee business calls and has been responsive in posting relevant materials to the web site. We will continue to use the web site as the primary location for all pertinent past, present and future information and activities of IRSA. Regional Association members are invited to use the web site to promote their own activities as well (

(2) Constitution, By-laws and Procedural Manual

Substantial changes were made to the Constitution and By-laws from 2000-2004. These were ratified by the last IRSA Assembly. The only issue that was raised in regard to them at the 2006 IRSA Council Meeting related to payments. Council reaffirmed that Regional Association members may forego payment of annual dues if payment is deemed to be of undue hardship and a formal request for such is submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer. (See minutes of 2006 Council Meeting). Council also recommended consideration the creation of a new By-law in reference to requests for IRSA support for Member Association meetings.

(3) Annual Dues

Annual dues payments by regional association members are currently up to date. AON has actually paid their dues for the period 2008-2012 in advance. Other regional association members have preferred to be billed on an annual basis. They will continue to be billed in this way unless they request an alternative procedure. Based on a decision made by Council at its 2006 meeting in Durban, South Africa, ALSARU was exempted from paying dues for the 2004-2008 quadrennial period.

(4) Mid-Term Council Meeting

The Mid-Term Council Meeting was held in conjunction with the July, 2006 Congress of the International Sociology Association in Durban, South Africa. During that meeting, Council discussed the difficulty of engaging rural sociology on the African continent and formally lifted the priority that the 2008 World Congress be held on it. Council also recommended that attention be given to soliciting funding to support travel to the 2008 World Congress and that paper presenters be informed of their option to post their papers on the IRSA web site. The Program and Local Arrangements Committees reported on progress being made for the 2008 World Congress. Council also instructed the Secretary-Treasurer to provide $3,000 to ALASRU in support of its upcoming regional meeting. Discussion related to the issue of subsidies to Regional Association members led to consideration of the introduction of a new By-law to address it. This issue will be discussed further by Council and the Executive Committee prior to possible presentation of it to the General Assembly for ratification (See Constitution, By-laws and Procedural Manual).

(5) Regional Association Meetings

During the period 2004-2008, IRSA leadership actively interacted with regional member associations in their locations. President Bonanno and other Executive Committee members attended meetings of member associations. President Bonanno attended meetings of the ALASRU and ESRS as well as the annual meetings of the RSS. Yoshio Kawamura regularly interacted with ARSA and its leadership about the present World Congress.

(6) Bid for 2012 World Congress

President Bonanno collaborated with representatives in Lisbon, Portugal in regard to preparation of a formal bid for hosting the 2012 World Congress. This bid will be discussed and probably approved at the 2008 World Congress. Formal acceptance of the bid is expected to be ratified by the General Assembly at this meeting.

(7) International Sociological Association Membership

IRSA continued its formal association with the International Sociological Association (ISA). It is registered as an Affiliate member. This affiliation is deemed important because of perceived similarity of interests of IRSA with ISA. Mid-term IRSA Council meetings have been planned to coincide with ISA World Congresses, the next of which will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden. ISA’s membership list can be reviewed at (

Council Meeting Minutes Out-Going Council Meeting July 6, 2008

Alessandro Bonanno, President
Koichi Ikegami, ARSA
Lynda Cheshire, AON
Oakla Cho, ARSA
Hans Bakker, RSS
Ray Jussaume, RSS
Henrique de Barros, ALASRU
Surichai Wun’Gaeo, ARSA
David Hansen, Secretary-Treasurer
Yoshio Kawamura (ARSA), Program Chair
Ki-Whan Chung (ARSA), Local Arrangements Chair

Bettina Bock, ESRS
Paul Milbourne, ESRS
Heather Aslin, AON
Hugh Campbell, AON
Phil McMichael, RSS
Gabriela Martinez Dougnac, ALASRU
Luciano Martinez Valle, ALASRU
Hilary Tovey, ESRS

Roger Wilkinson, AON In-Coming Council Representative
Manuel Moreira (ESRS), Proposed Local Arrangements Chair
Mark Shucksmith (ESRS), IRSA Executive Committee

Alessandro Bonanno called the Council meeting to order at 15:45 and welcomed those in attendance. He expressed regrets on the part of those who were unable to attend the meeting. Those in attendance were then requested to introduce themselves and identify their membership affiliations and reasons for attendance.

Alessandro Bonanno then indicated that he wished to alter the agenda slightly by having Prof. Manuel Moreira, Technical University of Lisbon, present the proposal submitted by his institution to host the next World Congress. The presentation was made in power point and was followed by a lively discussion by those in attendance.

Hans Bakker raised questions about the timing of the meeting – late July/early August – given timing of member regional association meetings. Alessandro Bonanno mentioned a concern about availability of space on the university campus given its academic schedule. Mark Shucksmith mentioned that there was no conflict with ESRS meetings which are held biannually and would not be held in 2012. Ray Jussaume asked about hotels and other housing for the conference in proximity to the proposed venue. Manuel Moreira responded that there would be new hotels available proximate to the University as well as student dorms for the proposed times. Lynda Cheshire mentioned that timing would conflict with academic calendar of universities in AON region. Henrique de Barros indicated the great support of ALASRU for this proposal. Roger Wilkinson asked if the venues for the plenary sessions and the working group sessions are close together. Mark Shucksmith asked how the plenary sessions would work for the Congress – if they would be separate or used to keep participants at the Conference. Lynda Cheshire indicated that there would be a need to get the balance right – between time dedicated to plenary sessions and time dedicated to working groups. Dave Hansen commented that it would be important for the organizers to consult with previous Congress organizers in order to make the best informed decisions. Surichai Wun’Gaeo asked about participation from the African continent and the need to engage individuals from around the globe in the conference; this idea was supported by Henrique de Barros. Oakla Cho and Alessandro Bonanno commented on the Program Chairs for the proposed Congress, indicating that they have been identified in the proposal consistent with the Procedural Manual that accompanies IRSA’s By-laws. David Hansen mentioned that an inquiry about hosting the next World Congress had been received from the University of Madras in Chennai, India and would be followed up on in regard to the 2016 World Congress.

At this point, Alessandro Bonanno recognized the arrival of Prof. Ikegami Koichi, ARSA representative from Japan. He then discussed the difficulty of selecting venues for the World Congress, indicating that geographic position of venues was not sufficient. Rather, he argued that there is a need to consider population, income, education, etc. He further indicated that it is important to consider generation of funds to support travel scholarships to the meeting and that it would be important to attract more individuals from high income regions because their registration fees would permit more travel scholarships for individuals from low income nations. Mark Shucksmith indicated that congresses need to make money some of the time and that this needs to be considered when selecting venues for them.

Ray Jussaume then proposed that Council decide on Lisbon as a venue for the 2012 World Congress. He moved that Lisbon, Portugal be recognized as the location for the 2012 World Congress and that the Executive Committee finalize a Memorandum of Agreement for hosting the Congress with the proposed organizers. The motion was seconded by Mark Shucksmith. (passed unanimously)

Ki-Whan Chung then reported on the current Congress. He indicated that he expected 400 individuals, but that that only around 350 would actually be in attendance. He indicated that the expectations were for a high quality Congress. Yoshio Kawamura then reported on the program for the Congress. He mentioned that the Congress expects to have 320 paper presenters in attendance, based on current information. Ray Jussaume then reported on three sources of scholarship funds, as well as the expected number of working groups. He indicated that sessions can be reorganized, depending on who actually attends the Congress. Yoshio Kawamura then commented on the need to increase scholarships to more than $1,000 in order to induce participants to attend from lower income nations. He also mentioned that visa and exit permit problems were very real for those coming from lower income nations and suggested that this fact be considered by the next World Congress.

Alessandro Bonanno then moved that the reports from the Program Chairs and the Local Arrangements Chair be accepted and that they be congratulated for their efforts. (unanimously approved with no comment)

Dave Hansen then presented the Quadrennial report as Secretary-Treasurer. Alessandro Bonanno motioned that it be approved and this was seconded by Lynch Cheshire. (unanimously approved with no comment)

Dave Hansen then presented the Financial Report as Secretary-Treasurer. He indicated that IRSA currently has a positive balance of approximately $30,000, much of which is deposited in income generating CD’s. Alessandro Bonanno motioned that it be approved and this was seconded by Mark Shucksmith. (unanimously approved)

Dave Hansen then opened discussion of dues payments, proposing to modify By-law 3 to allow regional association members the flexibility to pay dues on an annual basis if so desired. He mentioned that some members felt that their own cash flow situation does not allow them to pay four years in advance. He also noted that current practice has been to invoice them on an annual basis. After a brief discussion of this topic Alessandro Bonanno moved and Henrique de Barros seconded that this revision to By-law 3 be discussed at the General Assembly. (unanimously passed)

Dave Hansen then opened discussion of IRSA policy regarding forgiveness of dues for regional association members. Mention was made that it would be important to receive requests from regional associations on an annual basis rather than on a multi-year basis. Ray Jussaume seconded this notion, citing the specific need for ALASRU to do so. Henrique de Barros indicated his support for this notion, but mentioned that ALASRU was in debt after the last regional meeting in 2006, which precipitated its request for the exemption. Mark Shucksmith indicated that is important that regional associations understand that exemptions be temporary rather than an expectation, since we need to consider the financial viability of IRSA as well. Lynda Cheshire proposed modifying the wording for the change in By-law 12 to include “exceptional basis” and moved that it be presented to the General Assembly for discussion in this form. The motion was seconded by Henrique de Barros (unanimously passed)

Alessandro Bonanno then brought up the topic of publication of papers presented at the current World Congress. He indicated that the Executive Committee had approved their posting on the IRSA Website in order to allow those who are unable to attend to have access to them. He then initiated a discussion of the possibility of preparing an edited volume of paper form the conference with financial support from IRSA. He discussed the possibility of creating an editorial committee to oversee this publication, using a theme of the Congress as the title for the publication, and $5,000 support from IRSA for it. This was followed by a lively discussion by Council members. Henrique de Barros suggested that it might be better to support a series of publications focused on sub themes of the conference. Ray Jussaume indicated that we have our own series and that only one slot is available in that series. Lynda Cheshire asked if it might be appropriate for working group chairs to screen the papers based on quality and invite authors to submit for this publication. Ray Jussaume indicated that only papers that were actually presented at the conference and forwarded by working group chairs would be posted on the website. Ray Jussaume indicated that it would be necessary to have a proposal approved by an editor to move this forward. Alessandro Bonanno indicted that IRSA has the moral obligation to share output from Congresses. Mark Shucksmith indicated that the idea of publishing a book is a good one since the book will promote the conference. He indicated that the editors would need to be more proactive to ensure that a precise theme be identified and that the papers published coalesce around the theme. Ray Jussaume then moved and Henrique de Barros seconded that an Ad Hoc Committee be formed to further discuss this option, chaired by Alessandro Bonanno, with participation by himself and Yoshio Kawamura as well as Mark Shucksmith, and that the committee bring a formal recommendation to the In-Coming Council meeting. (passed unanimously)

Lynda Cheshire raised the issue of how Local Arrangement Chairs and Program Committee Chairs should be selected. After discussion it was the sense of the Council that procedures outlined in Procedural Manual which specify that these individual be identified in the proposal be maintained.

Alessandro Bonanno brought up the topic of how to engage past presidents in IRSA activities. It was the sense of the Council that the in-coming president of IRSA should seek the advice of past presidents as appropriate.

Members of regional associations were then requested to report out on their activities. Mark Shucksmith reported for ESRS, indicating that the most recent European Congress was held one year ago in Wageningen. He indicated that the ESRS sponsored journal, Sociologia Ruralis, has been doing quite well and is currently the third journal in ranking in sociology based on citations. He further indicated that the next ESRS Congress would be held in Finland in 2009.

Lynda Cheshire reported on AON activities. She mentioned that AON is an interest group, but that members from Australia and New Zealand regularly attend IRSA Congresses which suggests a very active group. She mentioned that it has an electronic listserv with a large number of subscribers and that they are exploring the possibility of developing a formal association. She also expressed her recognition of the excellent service provided to IRSA and the AON by its out going Council members – Heather Aslin and Hugh Campbell.

Hans Bakker then reported for RSS indicating that the cooperation between Canada and the U.S. was good. Ray Jussaume added that the RSS is a strong group, but undergoing a lot of change, and that the Rural Sociology journal is doing quite well. He indicated that important changes were occurring on the land grant university campuses which suggest that the relationship of rural sociology to related disciplines is changing. He also indicated that multiple factors explain the lack of representation of RSS members at the World Congress, including these changes on university campuses.

Henrique de Barros discussed recent ALASRU activities. He indicated that its most recent Congress was held in 2006 in Quito. It was attended by 1000 participants. There were 200 completed papers that are being published on the ALASRU website which is frequently visited. He indicated that ALASRU currently has a discussion list with over 700 members. He pointed out that many participants at the recent ALASRU Congress are not sociologists, but rather are from related areas such as geography and tourism. He indicated that the next Congress will be held in Recife in 2010 and that ALASRU plans to reinvigorate its journal.

Surichai Wun’Gaeo reported on ARSA activities. He mentioned that its third Congress was held in Beijing in 2007. He indicated that ARSA may give more attention to regional focus in the future, such as the Mekong delta and India. He mentioned that the next Congress will be held in the Philippines. He also mentioned the presence of new actors at their Congress, especially NGO representatives.

Alessandro Bonanno then tabled other agenda items due to the start of the opening reception. The meeting terminated at 18:30.