Category Archives: About IRSA

IRSA Past Presidents


Geoffrey Lawrence

Term 2012-2016



Reidar Almas

Term 2008-2012



Alessandro Bonanno

Term 2004-2008



Frank Vanclay

Term 2000-2004



Joseph Molnar

Term 1996-2000



Andreas Bodenstedt

Term 1993-1996



Ken Wilkinson

Term 1992-1993

(deceased in office)


Giampaolo Catelli

Term 1988-1992



Harry Schwarzweller

Term 1984-1988



Bruce R. Crouch

Term 1980-1984



Glenn Fuguitt

Term 1976-1980


Opening address XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology Lisbon, Portugal July 29 2012


Friends and colleagues, distinguished guests.

We are gathered again, the international rural sociology family, four years after Goyang, Korea, eight years after Trondheim, Norway and twelve years after Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Four years is a short time in the history of the rural mankind, but a long time in the professional history of a scholar and also a long time in the history of the International Rural Sociology Association.

Since we met last time, many of you have become Doctors and Professors. Some of you have obtained important posts, within and outside Academia and Universities. These personal advancements will improve the quality and status of rural sociology, and we congratulate you and welcome you as IRSA colleagues of high standing.

Since we met last time, some of our colleagues have resigned or left rural sociology. Unfortunately some of our dear friends and distinguished colleagues have also acquired serious illnesses. Some of them we will never see again at the IRSA congresses. A few colleagues have also passed away, and we regret that with much sorrow.

Other colleagues, as distinguished professors Bill Friedland, keep coming, and coming and coming, contributing a lot to the scientific community of rural sociology and sociology of agriculture. We are really standing on the shoulders of giants.

Since we met last time, the world has seen a financial crisis not experienced since the early 1930s. Here in Europe we are now in the midst of second dip of a recession, and not least here we are in Portugal and the south of Europe, the future is vulnerable and insecure. Not least in the rural areas, the financial crisis have hit hard, because rural people all over the world have lower income and less wealth than urban people. Although the capacity to function as a buffer and withstand social, economic and environmental shocks may be better in rural societies, at least in some regions of the world. In the USA and elsewhere, climate change has hit hard with serious droughts as a consequence. Again we see food prices reaching the record high level of 2008.

In our research efforts we should do more to explore how rural areas and modern rural societies could be socio-economic robust and climate resilient, in order to withstand economic and environmental shocks we have seen during the last years.

We have in this year, 20 years after the United Nations Rio conference on sustainable development, experienced the Rio+20 conference. The outcome was regrettably only a voluntarily commitment, with nice words and now deeds. The Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development did not reach a global strategy on Green Growth and Climate Resilience. Still there are National Strategies and regional strategies, like that of the EU to slow Climate Change and enter the Low Carbon society. Rio +20 was not a big success. However, the world leaders should and must keep on trying. The alternative is too scary.

Since we met last time, Barack Obama has been elected President of the United States, and he has acted for 3, 5 years. A long leap forward for the people of colour in the US and the world. Of his deeds I will not say much, just that some are disappointed, and some pleased. Among those pleased I guess those 30 some millions who have got their health insurance will be. I am also pleased, as a European and world citizen, that the United States are back into international fora, where they once were opting out.

In my term as IRSA president, the council have had three meetings, one in Goyang, Korea, one in Gothenburg two years ago during the ISA congress there, and then yesterday when the outgoing council meeting was held. The council has worked to replace the President and Secretary/Treasurer, which was successfully done when Professor Geoffrey Lawrence, University of Queensland, Australia was elected to replace me as next President and Professor Raymond Jussaume; Michigan State University, the USA was elected to replace Dave Hansen as next Secretary/Treasurer.

The executive committee which consists of vice Presidents Lynda Cheshire and Surichai Wungaeo, Secretary/Treasurer Dave Hansen and myself have worked hard to find candidates for the next congress, and we are happy to inform you that Toronto, Canada will be announced as venue for the 2016 IRSA congress later this week.

Personally I have worked with our webmaster Kjartan Anthun to modernise our webpage and to introduce several new features there, among others the Presidents corner and Rural sociologists in media. IRSA is also on Facebook with 145 friends who like us; we need more of you there.

The thirteenth world congress of rural sociology seems already to be a memorable congress. 75 working group leaders have been preparing a comprehensive program with 1450 papers. The scientific committee and the local organizing committee have undertaken a major effort to facilitate a program that also includes a number of excursions to the countryside of Portugal. This congress will be one with the largest turnout ever, with more than 1000 participants recorded so far. On behalf of IRSA, I will congratulate Professor Manuel Moreira and his team with an excellent preparation for this congress and we are looking forward to an exciting week.

I herewith declare the XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology opened.

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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.

Council Meeting Minutes July 26, 2006

Alessandro Bonanno (President)
David Hansen (Secretary-Treasurer)
Hilary Tovey, ESRS
Bettina Bock, ESRS
Lynda Cheshire, AON
Hugh Campbell, AON
Raymond Jussaume, RSS
Phil McMichael, RSS
Ki-Whan Chung (Local Arrange Chair)
Yoshio Kawamura (Program Chair)

Gabriela Martinez Dougnac, ALASRU
Luciano Martinez Valle, ALASRU
Henrique de Barros, ALASRU
Heather Aslin, AON
Hans Bakker, RSS
Paul Milbourne, ESRS
Haruo Kuroyanagi, ARSA
Surichai Wun’Gao, ARSA
Oakla Cho, ARSA
Mark Shucksmith, ESRS
Regina Karega, OSSREA

Alessandro Bonanno opened the session by welcoming the Council members and thanking them for being present at the meeting. He indicated that we would begin by taking dinner after which we would get to the substance of the meeting.

Subsequently, he then turned the attention of the Council to pending items that were discussed at the last meeting of the Council in Trondheim in 2004. He indicated that the Council had recommended that it consider several outstanding issues during the interim between World Congresses.

The first item brought up by him was the site for the 2012 World Congress Meeting. He indicated that preliminary discussions had continued with OSSREA as a possible host for the meetings in Africa. He reported that Regina Karega, Council representative from Africa, had reported that OSSREA had met and decided that it was not in a position to host the Congress at this time. Ray Jussaume suggested that we should give priority to identifying other ways to maintain contact with African rural sociologists and their representative organizations over the coming two years. Bettina Bock indicated that it would be difficult to find sponsors to support a World Congress in Africa given the other development-related priorities of that continent. Others commented that CODESRIA might be an alternative African organization for this interaction. David Hansen mentioned that IRSA had open dialogue with CODESRIA at the time of the World Congress in Rio de Janeiro in 2000.

MOTION: Based on the feedback received by Alessandro Bonanno from OSSREA, Dave Hansen moved and Ray Jussaume seconded that Council lift the priority for the 2012 World Congress from Africa, and expand the call for expressions of interest from other regions of the world (Unanimously passed).

Alessandro Bonanno then discussed the issue of identifying and contacting entities to request financial support for fellowships for representatives from financially disadvantaged regions to attend the 2008 World Conference. He indicated that Council had proposed forming a Task Force to explore this support and to solicit it from identified sources. Hilary Tovey mentioned several European based potential organizations, including the Atlantic Foundation. Other options include entities that are global food organizations, chemical input companies such as Monsanto and other development oriented foundations. Yoshio Kawamura indicated that there are two Japan Foundations that would be good candidates for provision of this type of support – one a government foundation and one a private foundation. He agreed to help contact them.

MOTION: Ray Jussaume moved and Phil McMichael seconded that the Executive Committee leadership ask regional member associations to each identify a representative for a Task Force to solicit financial support for scholarships to attend the 2008 World Congress (Unanimously passed).

Ki-Whan Chung, Local Arrangements Chair for the 2008 World Congress, agreed to chair this Task Force. Alessandro Bonanno agreed to contact leadership of each of the regional member associations to identify representatives for the Task Force.

Alessandro Bonanno then brought up the topic of posting papers given at the World Congress on the IRSA website. Some argued that the papers would best be posted prior to the World Congress. Others mentioned that they might be submitted as PDF files to facilitate their posting. Some felt that it was not practically feasible to request that papers be submitted in time for posting prior to the World Congress simply because many authors do not complete their papers in time have them posted.

MOTION: Ray Jussaume moved and Alessandro Bonanno seconded that the 2008 World Congress Program Committee formally announce that paper presenters will have the option of posting their papers to the IRSA website (Unanimously passed).

It was agreed that authors of papers would submit their papers to working session chairs, who would in turn send them to the Program Committee. The Program Committee would in turn submit them to the webmaster for posting. The assumption is that this would occur after the World Congress takes place as occurred with the 2004 World Congress. Lynda Cheshire mentioned that it would be important to instruct working group session organizers to collect the papers and submit electronic copies to the Program Committee. She mentioned that the failure to do so in reference to the previous World Congress delayed the process of posting papers from this meeting.

Ray Jussaume proposed that abstracts be posted on the website prior to the meeting. It was agreed that this should be formally stipulated by the Program Committee when soliciting abstracts for the World Congress. Some asked if it would be necessary to have a publication of abstracts for the meeting if the abstracts were to be posted on the website. Ki-Whan Chung argued that we will still need a printed copy of abstracts in order to facilitate participation of those attending in the meetings. Ray Jussaume indicated that a printed book of abstracts could be used by program participants to certify that they attended the World Congress with their sponsoring organizations. Phil McMichael suggested that participants in the World Congress would lack sufficient time to consult the posting of abstracts on the website while at the Congress. Ray Jussaume requested that the Local Arrangements Committee verify the cost of preparing a CD Rom with the abstracts as opposed to preparing a written publication of them for the meeting.

No formal motion was made with regard to publication of abstracts although it was agreed that the Program Committee should formally request them and subsequently send them to the Mark Jarvis for posting on the website prior to the World Congress.

David Hansen then presented an updated financial report for the Association. He indicated that $10,000 from the checking account had been deposited to a six month CD taking advantage of higher interest rate levels in the U.S. He reported that $16,959 of surplus funding had been received from the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2004 World Congress and deposited to the IRSA account.

MOTION: Alessandro Bonanno moved and Hugh Campbell seconded that the financial report be accepted by the Council as presented. (Unanimously passed).

David Hansen then consulted with the Council about the process of soliciting annual dues from regional association members. He mentioned that the new dues structure, as found in the by-law changes passed by the General Assembly in 2004, requires limited dues from ALASRU and ARSA. Alessandro Bonanno emphasized that surplus funds from the World Congresses have become the primary source of funding for IRSA. Unlike in the past, IRSA does not depend primarily on membership dues to finance its activities.

MOTION: Hugh Campbell moved and Lynch Cheshire seconded that the Executive Committee have the option of waiving dues for a regional association for any given period (Unanimously passed.) Hilary Tovey moved and Ray Jussaume seconded that this motion be amended to specify that this occur only upon receipt of a written request from the leadership of a member association as stipulated in the By-laws (Unanimously Passed).

Alessandro Bonanno asked that representatives from regional member associations provide updates on their activities. Yoshio Kawamura reported for ARSA. He indicated that the next ARSA conference would be held in China and that it would be sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He indicated that the meeting would be used as a venue to promote the 2008 World Congress. He further indicated that ARSA leadership would be meeting in Shanghai next week which explained the absence of ARSA Council Members at this meeting. Bettina Bock reported for the ESRS. She indicated that the next ESRS Congress would be held in Wageningen in 2007. She indicated that information about the meeting can be accessed at the following website: Hugh Campbell reported for the AON. He indicated that an agri-food network conference would be held in the near future. Lynda Cheshire also reported for the AON that the Australian Sociology Association is in the process of forming topical networks and that Stewart Lockie is taking responsibility for the Environmental network. Alessandro Bonanno reported for ALASRU. He indicated that the next ALASRU Congress would be held in Quito, Ecuador in November.

Alessandro Bonanno requested that Ki-Whan Chung discuss the status of Local Arrangements for the 2008 World Congress in Seoul. Chung shared a written report of his committee. He indicated that the Conference Center had been changed from one in downtown Seoul to the KINTEX Center in Goyan City, a suburb of Seoul near the Incheon airport and approximately 70 minutes from center of Seoul. He indicated that there would be a variety of options for rooming available to participants, both in terms of type and price, ranging from hotels to dormitories to home stays. He indicated that expectations were for about 1000 participants to attend the Congress. He said that it would be important to advertise the Congress through member associations and national societies and that his Committee would prepare several brochures to facilitate this process. He also noted that the registration fee had been initially set at a meeting in March at $350, but indicated that his Committee might recommend a sliding fee structure taking into account ability to pay for high income vs. low income regions. He indicated that his Committee would solicit funding for scholarships. He also mentioned that his Committee intended to organize 10-20 excursion options, including pre- and post-Congress tours. He also mentioned that they were considering inviting several representatives from North Korea.

Yoshio Kawamura then distributed a report from the Program Committee. He indicated that the Committee intend to integrate local community issues/problems into the Congress program and that this might occur through the Congress excursions. He indicated that the Program Committee proposes to hold one poster session as well as 11 working sessions. He mentioned that there would be a special session for the Presidential address, which would be associated with the theme of the Congress, namely, “Envisioning a Prosperous Rural Future in a Globalizing World: Community Initiatives and Empowerment.” Keynote speakers would also be invited, such as Amartya Sen. He also noted that a timeline had been identified to assure that program preparations be systematically carried out in order to assure a successful Congress. Some Council members suggested that the time lines for activities in preparation for the Congress be moved up from the dates proposed.

MOTION: Hugh Campbell moved and Phil McMichael seconded that Council accept the LAC and PC reports with acclamation (Unanimously passed).

Alessandro Bonanno reported that three alternative options for the 2012 World Congress were being explored by the Executive Committee, namely:

  • Lisbon, Portugal which has the advantages of accessibility, low cost, active rural social science programs, and existing interaction with the Executive Committee;
  • Guadalajara, Mexico which has the advantages of good contacts between the Executive Committee and potential hosts and prevalence of rural research activity; and
  • Recife, Brazil which has an active rural social science research agenda and good interaction with the IRSA Executive Committee. Potential disadvantages are that the 2000 World Congress was held in Rio de Janeiro and that the RC40 is considering a mini-conference in Recife in 2009)

MOTION: Ray Jussaume moved and David Hansen seconded that that the President of IRSA solicit Expressions of Interest for hosting 2012 World Congress by January 2007; that he subsequently share the information received and recommend to Council which Expression of Interest should be invited to develop a full pre-proposal to be vetted at the 2008 World Congress (Unanimously passed).

Alessandro Bonanno mentioned that he had received a request from ALASRU for financial assistance for support for its upcoming conference in Quito. He indicated that he had discussed this request with the Council through e-mail. This assistance would help to improve relations with ALASRU.

MOTION: Alessandro Bonanno moved and Bettina Bock seconded that IRSA provide ALASRU with $3,000 in support of ALASRU 2006 Quito Congress (Unanimously passed).

Alessandro Bonanno indicated that a need for transparency exists for this type of distribution of IRSA funding. It will require a policy decision regarding how IRSA will provide support from member associations. Ray Jussaume indicated that we are indeed setting a precedent and therefore need to formulate a policy in this regard.

MOTION: David Hansen moved and Hilary Tovey seconded that the Council draft a new by-law indicating that member associations can request financial support for their regional meetings based on a written request and justified need; the by-law should specify that all requests would need to be formally voted on by Council (Unanimously passed).

Alessandro Bonanno then indicated that several other items raised at the previous Council meeting needed to be addressed. He noted that Council had recommended that an IRSA Historian be identified to record historical events for IRSA. He indicated that he had not had any luck in convincing proposed candidates to assume this position. Discussion by Council led to the identification of a suitable candidate for this position. Alessandro Bonanno agreed to ask that person to accept this assignment. Others suggested that the person taking on this role could rely on information from Gene Erickson and other rural sociologists to compile an accurate history of IRSA. It was agreed that the IRSA website would be a principal mechanism for assuring that it fulfill its role as a disseminator of information about current international issues related to rural sociology. Given the late hour, a discussion of a twelve year planning horizon for IRSA World Congress was tabled for discussion at the next Council Meeting.

MOTION: Ray Jussaume moved and Hilary Tovey seconded that the meeting end at 23:00 (Unanimously approved).

By-laws and procedural handbook

(as amended IRSA General Assembly, Trondheim Norway 29 July 2004)
(includes track-changes of the changes made by IRSA Council meeting 30 July 2004, which will need to be ratified at the 2008 World Congress)


By-law 1 – The Standing of the By-Laws
By-law 2 – Membership Dues
By-law 3 – Procedure for Payment of Dues and Declaration of Representatives
By-law 4 – Procedure for Election of President
By-law 5 – Changeover of Office
By-law 6 – Election of Other Office Bearers
By-law 7 – Casual Vacancies
By-law 8 – Duties of Executive Officers
By-law 9 – Role of Council Members
By-law 10 – IRSA Fiscal Year
By-law 11 – Financial Reports
By-law 12 – Provisions for Amending the By-Laws


World Congresses
Role of the Program and Local Arrangements Chairs
Administrative Arrangements relating to Congresses
Meetings of the IRSA General Assembly
Meetings of the Council
Meetings of the Executive Committee
Website and Communications
Reimbursement of Expenses


By-law 1 – The Standing of the By-Laws

The Constitution of the International Rural Sociology Association (IRSA) (as amended) specifies the purposes and structure of IRSA. As provided for under Article 10 of the Constitution, these By-laws and regulations provide more specific instruction about the implementation of items mentioned in the Constitution and other matters as determined by the IRSA Council. The Constitution shall have priority over the By-laws.

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By-law 2 – Membership Dues

The membership fee for a Regional Organisation claiming membership of IRSA under Article 3 b(1) of the Constitution shall be set at the time of joining and shall be negotiated with them according to their size and capacity to pay. The membership fee shall be levied for the four year period from one World Congress to the next. The Rural Sociological Society (RSS) shall pay a total fee for the four year period of $4,000. The European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) shall pay a total fee for the four year period of $1,200. The Australian and Oceanic Network for rural social research and community development (AON), shall pay a total fee for the four year period of $400. The Latin American Rural Sociology Association (ALASRU) shall pay a total fee for the four year period of $200. The Asian Rural Sociology Association (ARSA) shall each pay a total fee for the four year period of $100. The fee may be paid in a single payment, or may be paid in either 2 or 4 installments at the determination of the member association. If the payment of the prescribed fee represents a major difficulty for a regional organisation, it may apply in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer for a fee waiver which shall considered by the Executive Committee. The prescribed fees shall be reviewed by the Council at the Outgoing Council meeting at each World Congress.

The membership fee for an Associate Organisation claiming membership of IRSA under Article 3 b(2) of the Constitution and for Special Interest Groups joining IRSA under Article 3 b(3) shall be set at the time of their joining and shall be negotiated with them according to their size and capacity to pay. For these two categories of membership, the fee shall be levied for the four year period from one World Congress to the next. As an indicative guide, except where there is regional disadvantage, organisations with a membership of greater than 800 members, the total fee for the four year period shall be $600. In the case of organizations with between 200 and 800 members, the fee shall be a total of $400; and in the case of organisations with less than 200 members, it shall be a total of $200. The fee may be paid in a single payment, or may be paid in either 2 or 4 installments at the determination of the member association. If the payment of the prescribed fee represents a major difficulty for a regional organisation, it may apply in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer for a fee waiver which shall considered by the Executive Committee. The prescribed fees shall be reviewed by the Council at the Outgoing Council meeting at each World Congress.

Individual membership of IRSA as provided for in Article 3 b(5) of the Constitution shall be US$20 for the period from one annual congress to the next.

In the case of all categories of membership, dues shall be payable in advance.

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By-law 3 – Procedure for Payment of Dues and Declaration of Representatives

At about 18 months before each World Congress, the IRSA Secretary-Treasurer shall issue invoices to the Treasurer of each member association. This invoice shall request the Treasurer of the member association to confirm that membership category as defined in Article 3 of the Constitution, and to pay the membership fees appropriate to that category as specified in By-law 2.

The invoice for dues shall be dispatched together with a request to each member association to declare their representatives to the IRSA Council for the next term. Payment of the Invoice for dues should be accompanied by advice to IRSA of (1) the names and contact details of Association’s representatives to IRSA who will become IRSA Council members for the forthcoming term; and (2) the names and contact details of the Association’s office bearers. Payment of dues and notification of representatives for the next term must be advised to the IRSA Secretary-Treasurer six months before a World Congress. The IRSA Secretary-Treasurer shall confirm the eligibility of the nominated persons to be representatives on the IRSA Council.

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By-law 4 – Procedure for Election of President

At six (6) months prior to each World Congress, the Secretary-Treasurer shall call for nominations for the position of President. Nominations will close four (4) months before the Congress.

Candidates for the position of President will be accepted from individuals who:
(a) have previously been a member of the IRSA Council (at any time in their lives) including as Secretary-Treasurer, OR
(b) are among the nominees of a member association for the coming term.

Individuals are ineligible to stand if they are :
1. from the same member association as the retiring President; OR
2. have held the position of IRSA President previously.

Nominations are self-nominations and need only be signed by the nominee. Nominations will be accepted by, inter alia, e-mail submission. The Secretary-Treasurer shall acknowledge receipt of nominations. The IRSA Secretary-Treasurer shall determine the eligibility of each nomination in respect of the conditions above.

The IRSA Secretary-Treasurer shall conduct a ballot by e-mail of the members of the outgoing Council for the position of President and shall announce the result at least one month prior to the World Congress. The election shall be conducted by the manner of preferential voting such as used, for example, in Australia. The IRSA Secretary-Treasurer shall advise all Council Members of the result, and shall make a general announcement such as by listserv announcement and newsflash on the IRSA website.

Where the Secretary-Treasurer is a contender for the position of President, the outgoing President shall conduct the elections.

Should the President-elect be a member of the incoming Council as a representative of a member Association, that member association shall be invited to nominate a replacement. This is to reinforce the notion that the President’s role is to represent IRSA as a whole, while Council members are the liaison between IRSA and the member associations.

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By-law 5 – Changeover of Office

The Changeover in Office shall typically occur in conjunction with a World Congress. Typically there shall be a Meeting of the Outgoing Council chaired by the outgoing President prior to the World Congress (or at least in the early days of the Congress) and there would be a meeting of the incoming Council towards the end of the Congress chaired by the incoming President.

As a courtesy and to ensure continuity of the Association and to facilitate the induction of new Council members, the members of the incoming Council should be invited in an observer status to the meeting of the Outgoing Council. The Outgoing President shall attend the meeting of the Incoming Council in an observer status.

There would normally be only one General Assembly at each World Congress. The General Assembly is chaired by the outgoing President. However, the new President shall be announced and shall be invited to make remarks about the intended program for the next term of office.

Formal transfer of Presidential responsibilities would occur at the close of the General Assembly, although there may be carryover functions required of the outgoing President who should mentor the incoming President.

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By-law 6 – Election of Other Office Bearers

Elections for the positions of First and Second Vice President shall be conducted at the first meeting of the new Council. Candidates for these offices shall be those people who are voting members of the new Council. They may be present at the Council meeting or they may have declared their intention to stand for these positions with the Secretary-Treasurer prior to the meeting. The elections shall be conducted sequentially. Nominees for these positions must not be from the same member association as the President and only one of these positions may be filled by a representative of any one member association.

The election shall be conducted by the incoming President. In the event of the absence of the President, the IRSA Secretary-Treasurer or Outgoing President shall conduct the election. In the event of the absence of President, Outgoing President and Secretary-Treasurer, those Council members present shall first appoint an Electoral Officer from among their midst. The Electoral Officer shall conduct an election for the position of First Vice President. The First Vice President shall then assume the duties of President until such time as the President resumes duty.

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By-law 7 – Casual Vacancies

In the event that a Council Member is not able to complete a full term of office, the member association may nominate a replacement for the remainder of the unexpired term. If the unexpired term is less than 24 months before the World Congress, it shall not constitute a term for purposes of succession for the replacement individual. Should the length of the unexpired term be longer than 24 months, then the period will be regarded as a full term for that individual.

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By-law 8 – Duties of Executive Officers

Proposed amendments to the by-laws and regulations may be initiated by members of the Executive Committee, the Council, or any five members representing at least two of the sponsoring organizations. Such amendments must be approved by the Council.

By-laws and regulations approved by the Council may be considered valid until such time as they are duly ratified or rejected by the next General Assembly. The Council must fully advertise proposed amendments for all members six months in advance of General Assembly meetings. This provision safeguards the legal validity of IRSA to respond and comply with requirements for its functioning in reference to its purpose as set forth in Article 1 and its operating, as a non-profit organization.

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By-law 9 ­ Role of Council Members

IRSA Council members have a dual role. They are to represent the interests of their organisation in IRSA, and they are to represent IRSA in their organisation. They must be an effective communication link between IRSA and their organisations. They should keep the Executive of their Organisation, and the members at large, informed of IRSA activities and issues, and they should advise the IRSA Executive Committee of matters pertaining to their organisation that may affect or otherwise interest IRSA.

Council members should make every effort to attend in-person meetings of the IRSA Council, and should respond promptly to e-mail discussion relating to IRSA issues.

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By-law 10 ­ IRSA Fiscal Year

The IRSA fiscal year will be from January 1 to December 31.

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By-law 11 ­ Financial Reports

The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the financial records of the Association and shall prepare a statement of the financial accounts of the Association for presentation at each Council Meeting and General Assembly. The Secretary-Treasurer shall have the financial records of the Association audited in the six months prior to a normal General Assembly and shall present the Auditor’s Report to the General Assembly. A senior figure associated with IRSA shall be asked to act as Auditor.

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By-law 12 ­ Provisions for Amending the By-Laws

As defined in Article 10 of the Constitution, proposed amendments to the By-laws and regulations may be initiated by members of the Executive Committee, the Council, or any five members representing at least two of the sponsoring organisations. Such amendments must be approved by the Council.

By-laws and regulations approved by the Council may be considered valid until such time as they are duly ratified or rejected by the next General Assembly. The Council must fully advertise proposed amendments for all members six months in advance of General Assembly meetings.

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The items outlined in the Procedural Manual are not constitutionally mandated, nor are they By-laws that require ratification by a General Assembly. However they represent procedures and arrangements agreed to by the IRSA Council and are presented in this manner to enable continuity from one term of Council to the next, and to enable articulation, communication and transparency of procedure.

World Congresses

IRSA shall auspice a World Congress of Rural Sociology, normally planned to occur every four years. No two successive Congresses shall be in the same region of the world. Congresses may be conducted as stand-alone conferences, or may be conducted in conjunction with associations with related interests.

The Council shall endeavour to select a site for the next World Congress in time for an announcement to be made at the each World Congress. In selecting the site for a World Congress, the Council shall give consideration to the following factors:

  • Geopolitical balance in the history of location of World Congresses;
  • Financial soundness, e.g. likely number of participants, availability of subsidies; institutional support; size and type of risks;
  • The trade-off between financial surplus returned to IRSA and the ‘developmental benefit’ relevant to the mission of IRSA. While it is expected that all congresses have an acceptable financial buffer, the surplus expected and risk taken will be off-set against other factors including the health of IRSA’s finances and the developmental benefit of the Congress;
  • Commitment and synergy of the organising team;
  • Appropriateness of the intended theme (for example its internationality and relevance to current international rural sociology);
  • Adequacy, appropriateness and accessibility of the venue;
  • Notwithstanding the above, rural locations may be preferred to non-rural, and locations with high cultural or natural heritage value, or that are otherwise significant will be preferable.

The procedure for selecting a conference location is as follows:

  1. At the mid term Council meeting (the meeting in between World Congresses), or earlier, the Council shall determine a priority area or areas for the hosting of the World Congress some 6 or more years later. This shall be made widely known.
  2. The Secretary-Treasurer shall call for expressions of interest (preliminary nominations) in hosting a World Congress and restate the geographic area to be given priority approximately five years prior to the holding of the World Congress.
  3. The closing date for expressions of interest shall be 6 months before the meeting of the IRSA Council at which the decision will be made (and the World Congress at which the decision will be announced).
  4. Expressions of interest do not necessarily have to be complete in all details, but need to specify key aspects about the venue, the proposed organisational arrangements, and program details. Because of IRSA’s belief that good conferences have a synergy between local arrangements and program content, the expressions of interest are asked to nominate not only the Local Arrangements Chair, but also the Program Chair, and the likely theme of the Congress.
  5. The expressions of interest are to be considered by the Executive Committee, and a short list of those bids meeting the criteria of IRSA shall be invited to make formal presentations to the first meeting of the IRSA Council at the World Congress. The short listED nominees are to be notified of their standing no later than 3 months before the World Congress. There shall be no limit on the number of short listed bids.
  6. On the basis of the presentations of the short listed applications, the (Outgoing) IRSA Council will select the venue for the following Congress site, or may delay the decision and call for further nominations. Although the decision shall be taken by the meeting of the outgoing Council, the opinions of the incoming Council members present (especially the incoming President) shall be considered in such a decision.
  7. The winning bid would be invited to make a presentation at an appropriate time during the World Congress (such as in the Closing Ceremony or General Assembly) to advertise the following Congress.
  8. Following the announcement of the winning bid, a Memorandum of Understanding shall be drawn up between the bidding organisation or institution and IRSA. The IRSA Council, especially the IRSA President and Executive Committee, shall work together with the winning bid to bring about a successful conference.
  9. The winner bidder is not strictly bound by what was stated in the Expression of Interest, and may develop the theme as they progress towards the Congress.

Expressions of Interest may take any form, but it is recommended that they include the following details:

  1. Contact Person for Bid.
  2. Name of the Auspicing Association/Organisation/Institution.
  3. Name and short biosketches/experience of the proposed Local Arrangements Chair and Program Chair.
  4. Theme of the Congress.
  5. Dates for the Congress (dates do not need to be set for the Expression of Interest)
  6. Proposed meeting site and description of it (capacity, etc.)
  7. Travel between the nearest international airport and the proposed meeting site facilities.
  8. Accommodations available to participants, including hotel rooms, university dormitories, etc. and projected room prices.
  9. Logistical and financial arrangements for the Congress, including likely registration fees, and discounts, and projected honorariums and other support provided to speakers. Proposed financial surplus to be returned to IRSA and other financial arrangements that are pertinent. If no surplus is planned, provide a justification.
  10. Sources of financial support for the Congress at your site, and efforts to be taken to secure sponsorships.
  11. Translation services and language policy
  12. Considerations deemed relevant to the local context (security, standard of living etc).
  13. Touristic, educational, or aesthetic advantages of your site (Tours your Congress site might feature).

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Role of the Program and Local Arrangements Chairs

The name of the Program Chair and Local Arrangements Chair and other organisational details, shall be stated in the Expression of Interest, and shall feature in any presentation to the IRSA Council. The actual duties to be assigned to each individual is the responsibility of the winning bidding team.

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Administrative Arrangements relating to Congresses

Proposed organisational, administrative and financial arrangements can be specified in the Expression of Interest. These are to be formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding between IRSA and the winning bidder.

In general terms, the following principles apply:

  • IRSA will not advance monies to congress organisers. Host institutions should provide support including up-front funding if it is required. Early sponsorship and early registration payments can be used to provide an income stream to finance a conference. On rare occasions, IRSA might pay a deposit to secure a venue.
  • While conferences that return all surpluses to IRSA are preferred, where conferences are run in conjunction with other organisations, or are managed by institutions, those other organisations or institutions will be entitled to a share of the surplus which should be negotiated as part of the conference proposal. If 100 percent of the surplus is not to be returned to IRSA, this must be clearly stated in the expression of interest.
  • Conference income may be used to pay for all costs associated with a conference including the use of registered professional conference organisers. Proposals that include the payment of salary to individuals within the host institution or co-auspicing centre will be examined very closely, and such an arrangement should be clearly indicated in the expression of interest. Precise details about what will be regarded as a conference expense and paid for from the conference budget, should be clearly stated in the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Congress organisers need to be cognizant of the need for an acceptable financial margin. This is partly to allow for unanticipated contingencies, but also to contribute to the general revenue. Ideally, Congresses should plan to produce around $10,000 surplus to IRSA. This expectation may be relaxed when a clear developmental benefit related to IRSA’s mission may result from it. If congress organisers are not intending to achieve this level of surplus, they must clearly state this in the Expression of Interest. The level of surplus will be negotiated with the IRSA Council, and will be stated in the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Because it is understood that most attendees to the Congress will need to present papers, there will likely be a general rule of no support to speakers. However, special ‘keynote’ speakers may be supported if this is in the best interests of the Congress. It would generally be considered to be inappropriate to pay speakers for lost professional time, but in the event that such speakers were self-employed, and their presence was beneficial to IRSA and/or consistent with the theme of a Congress, salary payments to speakers would be acceptable. Congress organisers will need to consider seriously the merits or otherwise of such a proposal and make a case to the Executive Committee.

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Meetings of the IRSA General Assembly

At each World Congress, and as otherwise provided for by the Constitution, there will be a General Assembly of the members of IRSA. The General Assembly is presided over by the outgoing President. The meetings are typically informative since the main business of IRSA is done by the Council. However certain key decisions such as changes to the Constitution, and ratification of changes to the By-laws must be made by the General Assembly. An agenda for each meeting shall be prepared and notified to the membership. It should be noted that the Constitution specifies the period of notice that needs to be given for changes to the Constitution and By-laws. Unless determined otherwise by the Chair, or as otherwise requested by a member, voting on all motions shall be by show of hands. Meetings shall be conducted formally, minutes shall be recorded by the Secretary-Treasurer, and a list of those attending recorded. The minutes, whence approved by the President, will be circulated to the Council. Following Council endorsement of the minutes, they will be made public to the membership via the IRSA website. A motion for approval of the minutes of the previous meeting shall be made towards the beginning of each General Assembly. The General Assembly provides an opportunity to provide information about IRSA to IRSA members at large, and to seek feedback on the activities and direction of IRSA.

The general assembly must be scheduled for at least 2 hours and must be given a priority spot in the congress program.

A typical Agenda for a General Assembly would comprise the following:

  1. Call to order and welcome
  2. Announcement of the incoming President
  3. Introduction to Council members (outgoing and incoming)
  4. Introduction of Executive Officers of Member Associations
  5. Minutes from previous General Assembly
    (motion to accept minutes)
  6. Report on Matters arising from the minutes
  7. Report on IRSA activities for the past term and tabling of quadrennial report written by Secretary Treasurer (questions) (motion to accept quadrennial report)
  8. Financial Report by Secretary-Treasurer, and presentation of Auditor’s Report (questions) (motion to accept Financial Report)
  9. Report on the current Congress (Program and Local Arrangements Chairs)
  10. Feedback and response about the Congress
  11. Changes to Constitution (if applicable)
  12. Changes to By-laws (if applicable)
  13. ** other scheduled business items **
  14. Plans for the Future (questions)
  15. Discussion about Future Congress plans (presentation ?) (questions)
  16. Statement by Incoming President
  17. Other business from the floor
  18. Close

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Meetings of the Council

Each Council will meet at least three times during a term of office. In addition to a meeting of the outgoing Council at the beginning of the Congress, and a meeting of the incoming Council towards the end of each Congress, there will typically be one formal Council meeting held sometime between Congresses at a venue so as to attract maximum participation from Council members, for example such as the World Congress of Sociology, or in conjunction with a conference of one of the member associations. The date and place of Council meetings is set by the President having regard to maximising attendance of members. It is encouraged that this meeting be an in-person meeting, but it may be held as an electronic meeting when this is desirable.

Council meetings are presided over by the President. An agenda for each meeting shall be prepared and notified to the Council members in good time so that they may consult with the executives of the associations they represent if necessary. Unless determined otherwise by the Chair, or as otherwise requested by a member, voting on all motions shall be by show of hands. Meetings shall be conducted formally, minutes shall be recorded by the Secretary-Treasurer, and a list of those attending recorded. The minutes, whence approved by the President, will be circulated to the Council. An email motion to approve the minutes shall be undertaken by email within a period of six weeks after the meeting. Provided that no issue is declared confidential, once approved by the Council, the minutes will be made public to the membership via the IRSA website.

The Council is the principal governing body of IRSA and shall set general policy governing the activities of the Association. Because the business that will face the Council will likely vary from meeting to meeting, an indicative agenda may not be appropriate. However, likely topics of discussion will include:

  • Activities of the member associations
  • Current and future conferences
  • Website
  • Publications
  • Finances
  • Agenda for the General Assembly

Much Council business will be undertaken by e-mail. In general, formal decisions should be delayed until the next in-person meeting of the Council. However when this is not practical, the President will facilitate an electronic discussion of the issue. When the President has deemed that the issue has had sufficient discussion, the President shall than advise the Secretary-Treasurer to prepare a formal motion and to conduct an electronic vote. In an electronic vote, a motion shall be declared passed if it is approved by an absolute majority of all Council members in good standing at the time the vote is conducted. The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep a record of such decisions and shall include a statement of these decisions in the report that the Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare for each General Assembly.

Council members who fail to respond to a motion within four weeks shall be declared ‘incommunicado’ and therefore will not be considered to be part of the voting process for that motion and in the determination of a majority.

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Meetings of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee comprises the various Executive Officers of the Association and shall undertake day-to-day management of the Association. The Executive Committee may meet in person such as at meetings of member associations, however the majority of the business of the Executive Committee is likely to be done by e-mail. Decision making of the Executive Committee will usually be on a consensual basis, although should the President or Secretary-Treasure determine that a formal vote is required, or if it is requested by any member of the Executive Committee, the procedures for voting applying to a Council meeting shall be followed.

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Website and Communications

The website is an important centre for communication about IRSA as well as a repository of information about IRSA. It facilitates transparency in all IRSA actions and procedures. In addition to general infoDiscussion about Future Congress plans (presentation ?) (questions)rmation about IRSA and information about current activities, the website should contain the curr/ap
ent version of the Constitution, By-laws and Regulations, the Procedural Handbook, and names and contact details of Council members. Minutes of past General Assembly and Council meetings (if not declared confidential) should be available on the website. The website should provide useful links especially to the websites of the member associations.

As described in By-laws, the Council members play an important liaison role between the member associations they represent and IRSA.

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Reimbursement of Expenses

Article 9c of the Constitution provides for the reimbursement of expenses incurred in the course of undertaking IRSA activities. However, IRSA is an association of limited means and can not reimburse all expenditure incurred in the discharge of the duties of Council members. It is expected that Council members attend Council meetings without reimbursement of expenses by IRSA. Nevertheless, there will be times when there are additional demands, especially of Executive Committee members, to advance the interests of IRSA and when the reimbursement of direct out-of-pocket expenses is appropriate. These may include such things as planning meetings for World Congresses, the development of new initiatives, and liaison with member associations.

The following principles should be used as a guide to determining when reimbursement will apply, and under what conditions:

  • For most situations when reimbursement is being considered, all other possible avenues of funding should be exhausted;
  • Ideally there should be some form of cost sharing with another body;
  • Expenses associated with a specific World Congress, such as site visits and planning meetings, may be paid by IRSA initially, but should be regarded as costs of a Congress, and reimbursed to IRSA from the Congress budget;

Because it is desirable that the President (or a representative of the President) and/or the Secretary-Treasurer make connections with all member associations of IRSA in order to strengthen the relationship between IRSA and its member associations and to promote the World Congress and other initiatives, IRSA will cover, subject to the guidelines above, the travel, registration fees and accommodation expenses of the President (or a representative of the President) and/or the Secretary-Treasurer for any meeting of a member association that the President (or a representative of the President) and/or the Secretary-Treasurer is able to attend other than their own ‘home’ association. In general, this should be limited to participation in only one meeting of each member association during the four year term.

In recognition of the key roles to the Association by the Outgoing President and Secretary-Treasurer, the expenses associated with their attendance at the World Congress shall be covered by the Association from IRSA general revenue. The expenses of the Program Chair and Local Arrangements Chair would be covered from the Congress budget. These expenses include travel, accommodation, and registration costs. In many cases, accommodation costs may be absorbed by the venue.

At no time will salary costs of Executive Committee members be paid, nor will “per diem” or daily living allowances be paid.

The Executive Committee shall be asked for their approval of any specific expenditure, and when financial support is required, there should be a clear benefit to IRSA. A short report will be prepared for each funded activity.

All expenditure must be clearly identified in the financial report prepared by the Secretary-Treasurer.

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Council Meeting Minutes July 29-30, 2004

Minutes/In-Coming Council Meeting
Trondheim, Norway
July 29-30, 2004

Alessandro Bonanno (President)
David Hansen (Secretary-Treasurer)
Heather Aslin, AON
Hilary Tovey, ESRS
Hans Bakker, RSS
Bettina Bock, ESRS
Paul Milbourne, ESRS
Hugh Campbell, AON
Philip McMichael, RSS
Raymond Jussaume, RSS
Haruo Kuroyanagi, ARSA
Surichai Wun’Gaeo, ARSA
Lynda Cheshire, AON
Ki-Whan Chung, (Local Arrangements Chair)
Mark Shucksmith, (Past Program Chair)

Gabriela Martinez Dougnac, ALASRU
Luciano Martinez Valle, ALASRU
Henrique de Barros, ALASRU
Yoshio Kawamura, (Programme Chair)

Others present
Aurora Cristina Martinez, ALASRU
Regina Karega, OSSREA
Blanca Rubio, ALASRU
Frank Vanclay, AON (Past President)
Ana Maria Aragones , ALASRU

First Meeting, July 29, 2004 (18:15 ­ 19:30)

Alessandro Bonanno called the meeting to order. He welcomed all those in attendance and mentioned that it was his hope to accomplish important activities during his administration. He noted that we need to strive to work in harmony with one another.

He indicated that the In-Coming Council would actually have two meetings. The second meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 30 after the General Assembly. He urged all members to attend this meeting as well.

He then asked members of the new Council to introduce themselves and to briefly discuss any major issues they may have. Oakla Cho, following up on comments made in the General Assembly, raised a concern about the language factor for the next World Congress, suggesting that if translation is to be provided, it would need to be into the Asian languages rather than into French or Spanish. Blanca Rubio raised the cost of attending the World Congresses, noting that most Latin Americans are unable to cover these costs.

Alessandro Bonanno moved and Heather Aslin seconded that Regina Karega be admitted to Council as the area representative for Africa (to replace Adboulaye Sene) until such time as the Organisation for Social Science Research for Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) formally joins IRSA. (Passed Unanimously)

Regina Karega indicated that it was OSSREA’s intent to pay the dues for the coming four year period and that OSSREA will nominate its three representatives shortly.

Alessandro Bonanno then moved to a discussion of priority activities for the coming four year period. He indicated that he will attempt to hold more dialogue (perhaps actual meetings and meetings by teleconference and web conferencing) to ensure that this occur.

Alessandro indicated that he intended to alter the procedure for election of the two Vice Presidents. He proposed that the Secretary send an e-mail to all Council members asking them to indicate within a specified period of time if they are interested in standing for a Vice President position. Council members from all regions other than the RSS will then be requested to vote on those standing for the position of First Vice President. Once the First Vice President is elected, the remaining names for regions other than RSS and the region of the elected First Vice President will be sent to Council members for election of the Second Vice President.

Phil McMichael raised a question of procedure, asking if Council member not present could be elected following the standard procedure. Considerable discussion took place regarding the election process. Frank Vanclay recommended that the procedure in By-law 6 which covers the election of the Vice Presidents be followed.

Alessandro Bonnano then moved and Hugh Campbell seconded that the IRSA Council recommend the election of Vice Presidents be conducted via e-mail following the preferential voting system in a manner that is consistent with the limitations governing the election of the two Vice Presidents at this Council meeting. (Passed)

Attention was then turned to amending By-law 8 to add an additional duty for the Secretary-Treasurer. It was proposed that prior to each In-Coming Council meeting, the Secretary-Treasurer should e-mail all eligible Council members asking them if they were interested in standing for the Vice President positions.

Alessandro Bonanno then asked for inputs on how to improve World Congresses, focusing on experiences of this Congress and perceived obstacles that will be faced by the 2008 World Congress in Korea. He mentioned that the language problem will persist and will need to be addressed. Blanca Rubio indicated that for non-native English language speakers, presentations are much easier to understand if they use power point or overhead presentations. Comprehension of spoken English is less imperative if these visual aids are used. Ray Jussaume mentioned that the current World Congress produced abstracts for all of the papers. Perhaps they should be translated into major languages to facilitate access to their content by non-native English language speakers. Oakla Cho also indicated that she found the distribution of handouts to be extremely useful. Mention was made of the need to enlarge media coverage of the World Congresses. Others indicated that this World Congress was receiving substantial coverage and that it should be continued at all Congresses.

The meeting was adjourned at 19:30.

In-Coming Council Meeting, July 30, 2004, 16:15 ­ 19:00

Alessandro Bonanno opened the meeting requesting Dave Hansen to review important matters arising from the Out-Going Council Meeting (an item that had been deferred from the previous day). Hansen reported that Ki-Whan Chung had made an excellent presentation to the Council in relation to the Korean proposal to host the XII World Congress in 2008. Council formally endorsed Korea as the site for the 2008 World Congress and thanked the Korean delegation for its excellent proposal by giving them an enthusiastic round of applause. Changes to the Constitution, By-laws, and Procedural Manual were approved by Council. Frank Vanclay, as IRSA’s nominee to the Editorial Board of the book series, Research in Rural Soicology and Development, published by Elsevier Press, needs nominations for the position of Editor to replace Fred Buttel. OSSREA was discussed as a potential sponsor for the 2012 World Congress.

Alessandro Bonanno then turned to the 2008 World Congress, indicating that he and Ray Jussaume (Deputy Programme Chair) had met with the Korean delegation the evening before. The format is still tentative. They have agreed to discuss further the specifics of the program for the World Congress. Inputs from Council representatives are needed to achieve this. Evaluations of the current World Congress will also be used in the process. Hilary Tovey argued that we will need to consider greater diversity in the leadership makeup of the next World Congress. She observed that it appears that the higher up one goes in the administrative hierarchy of the Congress, the less present women and minorities are. Phil McMichael asked how one can promote greater diversity in the programme. Ray Jussaume noted that this will be an issue for the coming World Congress because of the diversity of culture and societies in Asia. He noted that scholarship funding could be used to attract minorities. Chung then mentioned that there are at least two ways to attract a diverse audience, namely (1) scholarships targeted at specific regions of Asia; and (2) symposia that highlight certain sensitive topics related to ethnicity. Mark Shucksmith indicated that the Programme Committee might want to consider developing an advisory group composed of individuals from the region that could recommend participation by specific social scientists from the different regions.

Dave Hansen mentioned that a draft MOU between the Koreans and IRSA had been developed during the week. Since the KREI President is not present at these meetings, the signing of the document will be postponed until he has seen it.

It was agreed that IRSA Executive Committee would appoint a Task Force to seek funding in support of the 2008 World Congress. It would solicit funding from various international donors to help support travel and maintenance costs of participants from poorer regions of the world. Alessandro Bonanno agreed to give this some thought and to propose Task Force members to Council. Several Council members tentatively volunteered or were suggested to participate on this committee, including Frank Vanclay, Ki-Whan Chung, and Hans Bakker.

In following up a discussion from the Outgoing Council meeting, Frank Vanclay again raised the issue of the urban nature of Seoul as was depicted in the video presentation in the closing session of the Congress. He wanted to be sure that the Council was completely committed to the hosting of the Congress in Seoul and ensuring that no one would be concerned that holding the next World Congress in Seoul represented a conflict because of IRSA’s values. Hilary Tovey indicated that she does have reservations about Seoul and would much prefer a smaller place with greater informal interaction opportunities. Hans Bakker mentioned that if we opt for Seoul, we should extend our stays to enjoy the exotic environment. Ray Jussaume indicated that possibilities for doing different things in Korea are enormous; Regina Karega noted that in Africa, there would be many logistical problems if a Congress were not to be held in a larger city. Ki-Whan Chung said that Seoul was proposed as the venue for many reasons including ease of accessibility and potential for increased interest by government, NGOs, sponsors, etc. Bettina Bock stated that we should accept the reality of going to Seoul, if this is necessary in order to hold the Congress in Korea.

Frank Vanclay then moved and Hans Bakker seconded that the Council accept that the Congress held in Seoul, but with the proviso that a rural flavor be provided through the Congress field trip and optional extra pre-, and post-Congress tours to rural areas. (Passed with one abstention)

Alessandro Bonanno then presented the suggestion that the preferred site for the 2012 World Congress possibly be in Africa. Regina Karega needs to explore this idea further with OSSREA and other regional associations in Africa. A two year time frame exists for deciding whether or not to encourage a bid from Africa. A final decision whether to continue to pursue this idea or not will be discussed at the Mid Term Council meeting in 2006 in Durban, South Africa.

Phil McMichael then moved and Heather Aslin seconded that the IRSA Council accept Africa as the preferred venue for 2012 (Passed)

Alternative venues for 2012 were then further discussed. The need to avoid being seen to be following in the footsteps of ISA World Congresses was mentioned ­ ISA will hold its next World Congress in Durban, South Africa in 2006. Australia and/or New Zealand were mentioned as possibilities. Phil McMichael indicated that enticing previously non involved regions and their sociology networks to join IRSA should be an important reason for going to different regions. Alessandro Bonanno encouraged us all to continue to think about an alternative place for the 2012 World Congress.

Alessandro raised the issue of OSSREA’s impending membership in IRSA and asked Frank Vanclay to provide some background about IRSA’s relations with African organizations. Vanclay mentioned that IRSA had had several representatives from Africa over the last 10 years or so, including Lawrence Ega (Nigeria) [1996-2000] and Abdoulaye Sene (Senegal) [2000-2004]. Abdoulaye Sene had been present at the 2000 World Congress and had encouraged the development of a relationship with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), a pan-African organisation based in Senegal. Discussions with Regina Karega have clarified relationships between CODESRIA and OSSREA, which is a regional organisation covering eastern and southern Africa only. Similarities between CODESRIA and OSSREA were discussed. Considerable discussion of the organisation of social science and the geographical and culture organisation of Africa ensued. Alessandro Bonanno suggested that IRSA had had overlapping memberships before when RUM (the Mediterranean Rural Sociology Association) was a member of IRSA because it overlapped considerably with ESRS. The general consensus was that there would be no problem in having more than one association represent Africa in IRSA and IRSA was encouraged to accept OSSREA’s application for membership when it would eventuate. Vanclay had had discussions with Regina Karega about this and they had agreed that OSSREA would pay a membership fee of $400 for a four year period when it joined.

Alessandro Bonanno then opened discussion about the IRSA website. It needs to be used more. One idea is to publish papers of the Conference on the website. It can become an archive for all papers of the World Congresses. Issues for and against this option were discussed. Individuals might be prevented from publishing papers in peer reviewed format if they are previously posted to a website. Others indicated that this is not normally the case, noting that conferences normally have Proceedings with the expectation that papers will be posted on websites. Others indicated that authors would have the option of not posting their papers on the website. Phil McMichael argued that this option should be checked further before making a final decision.

Frank Vanclay suggested that the Programme Chair consult with several journals regarding legality issues and report back to the Executive Committee. Council will be consulted by the Executive Committee prior to making final decision. The Secretary- Treasurer will be the point person with Mark Jarvis about use of the website for the 2008 World Congress by the Programme Committee.

Alessandro Bonanno then spoke to the need to identify someone to handle the history of IRSA as well as the posting of materials to the website.

It was moved and seconded that the IRSA President bring a name forward for this position during the following six months for approval by Council (Passed)

The process of appointing future Program Chairs was an agenda item. Alessandro Bonanno indicated that it was really not an issue and that he intended to pass on to the next item. Lynda Cheshire, however, wanted it noted that the role of Deputy Programme Chair should be considered as an opportunity for young members to learn through the process. Frank Vanclay noted that Council needs to consider all risk options for future Congresses, including the possible need to replace a Programme Chair. Mark Shucksmith noted that developmental opportunities are important and that we should cover risk management while still providing opportunities for professional development.

Alessandro Bonanno then opened discussion about the Role of Past Presidents. He indicated his preference that past president should retire once they complete their terms of office, but that they need to have a continuing contributing role in IRSA. Frank Vanclay noted that there also needed to be a transition process. He also noted that there was some ambiguity in the current procedures about whether the Past President should attend the In-Coming Council meeting. In practice over the last three Congresses (1992, 1996, 2000) Past Presidents had attended the In-Coming Council meeting. Considerable discussion followed. Ray Jussaume indicated that there needed to be a clear statement to indicate whether the Past President should attend. Council was of the view that at this meeting, the contributions of the Past President (Vanclay) had been beneficial and important.

Ray Jussaume moved and Lynda Cheshire seconded that By-law 5 should be modified by adding that “The Out-Going President shall invited to attend the meeting of the In-Coming Council in an observer status.” (Passed)

Alessandro Bonanno then turned to other priorities for the IRSA Council.

Hans Bakker moved and David Hansen seconded indicated that the Executive Committee should seriously consider the goals and objectives of the organisation and bring them forward to Council for discussion (Passed)

Alessandro Bonanno then discussed the possibility of the Council meeting for a full day before the next World Congress since the two hour blocks provided at the current Congress are not sufficient for full discussion of the issues confronting us. This option was discussed at length with several Council members arguing that we already meet too long at the World Congresses. In response to questioning from Paul Milbourne, Alessandro Bonanno indicated that it would be a meeting of the Out-Gong Council but with participation by the In-Coming Council as well. Paul Milbourne then asked when the In-Coming Council would meet? Bonanno requested that members consider this further. It was agreed that this idea would be discussed at further length at the Mid-Term Council meeting in 2006.

Under Other Business, Vanclay requested that there be a letter from IRSA to acknowledge Fred Buttel at the upcoming recognition event to be held in conjunction with the RSS Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California. It was agreed that Phil McMichael will attend the RSS Fred Buttel recognition event as an official IRSA representative and that he will convey in an appropriate manner IRSA’s appreciation of Buttel’s contributions to Rural Sociology. It was also agreed that President Alessandro Bonanno would send Fred Buttel a card on behalf of IRSA, thanking him for his contributions, wishing him well and continued success in his current battle with cancer.

Alessandro Bonanno then noted that the next meeting of the IRSA Council will take place in Durban, South Africa in coordination with the next ISA World Congress, July 23-29, 2006.

The meet was adjourned at 17:10.