Category Archives: About IRSA

Constitution of the International Rural Sociology Association

Constitution of the International Rural Sociology Association

(as amended by IRSA General Assembly, Trondheim Norway 29 July 2004)

Article 1: Name and Objectives
Article 2: General Structure
Article 3: Membership
Article 4: General Assembly
Article 5: Voting: General Assembly
Article 6: Council
Article 7: Executive Committee
Article 8: Executive Officers
Article 9: Finance
Article 10: By-Laws and Regulations
Article 11: Provision for Organization of New Regional or National Societies or Associations
Article 12: Standing and Ad Hoc Committees
Article 13: Amendments and Dissolution
Article 14: Incorporation/Organization

Article 1: Name and Objectives

  1. The name of the organization shall be the International Rural Sociology Association (IRSA).
  2. The objectives of the Association are to: foster the development of rural sociology; further the application of sociological inquiry to the improvement of the quality of rural life; and provide a mechanism whereby rural sociologists can generate dialogue and useful exchange.
  3. IRSA is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes.
  4. IRSA is primarily an association of constituent associations.

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Article 2: General Structure

  1. The organization shall have the following statutory bodies:
    (1) General Assembly
    (2) Council
    (3) Executive Committee
    (4) Executive Officers.

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Article 3: Membership

  1. Membership in the organization shall be open to fee-paying organizations and/or individuals, that promote the objectives of the Association, and that are approved by the IRSA Council.
  2. There shall be four categories of membership:
    (1) Regional (multi-nation) rural sociology organisations shall be entitled to join as an organisational member and be represented on the IRSA Council by three individuals.
    (2) Associate organizational membership is open to national rural sociology organizations. They shall not be formally represented on Council, but shall nominate a single individual who shall have observer status at Council meetings.
    (3) Special interest group membership is open to multi-nation associations which have a specific interest in some topic relevant to rural sociology and who wish to participate in the activities of IRSA or otherwise be affiliated with IRSA. They shall not be formally represented on Council, but may nominate a single individual who may have observed status at Council meetings.
    (4) Affiliate membership is open to individual rural sociologists who wish to be associated with IRSA but who are not resident in areas serviced by any association as identified in Article 3 b(1) or Article 3 b(2) above, or who are not a member by virtue of their membership in an association as identified in Article 3 b(3). they shall have no representation on the IRSA Council.
  3. Individual membership is automatically extended to members of the rural sociology organizations identified in Article 3 b(1), 3 b(2), and 3 b(3) above.

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Article 4: General Assembly

  1. The General Assembly, which is open to all members as defined in Article 3, shall meet approximately every four years, normally in conjunction with each World Congress. The General Assembly may meet in special session if at least one-third of the members so request or the Council so decides.
  2. The place of the General Assembly shall be set by the Council and announced at least two years in advance. The date and time of the General Assembly shall be set by the Executive Committee at least 90 days in advance. The agenda shall be prepared and distributed by the Secretary-Treasurer.
  3. The General Assembly if called in accordance with other Articles shall be competent to take decisions which have not been delegated to other statutory bodies in accordance with provisions in this Constitution.
  4. No two successive World Congresses shall be held in any one country.

Article 5: Voting: General Assembly

  1. The voting membership shall comprise those individuals who are in good standing as indicated by their financial membership of those organizations accepted under Article 3 b(1) and b(2) and those who qualify under Article 3 b(4) and have paid their annual dues.
  2. All decisions calling for votes except as noted elsewhere shall be taken by a simple majority. Whenever a vote is evenly divided, the vote of the Chairperson of the meeting shall be decisive.
  3. No proxies shall be accepted.

Article 6: Council

  1. The Council shall consist of the representatives as defined in Article 3, along with the President, the Program Chair of the past World Congress, and the Program Chair and Local Arrangements Chair of the current congress and the Secretary-Treasurer.
  2. Each regional organization as specified in Article 3 shall nominate their representatives to the Council. This shall be done in accordance with their own chosen procedure.
  3. Council may appoint individuals to represent major regions of the world not covered by the current member associations as defined in Article 3. These individuals shall have a non-voting status on Council.
  4. The term of membership shall be for one Congress period, normally four years, starting from the end of one World Congress and finishing at the end of the next World Congress. The same individual may be reappointed by a member association to the Council for a second term, but may not serve more than two terms without an interval of at least one term. The IRSA Secretary-Treasurer shall determine the eligibility of association nominees and shall advise an association of any person who is not eligible, thereby giving the association an opportunity to make a substitute nomination. Individuals appointed to represent major regions of the world as defined in Article 6c above may not serve more than two terms.
  5. The Council shall be convened by the President as circumstances, resources and Association affairs may dictate.
  6. The Council shall be responsible for the functioning of the organization.
  7. The quorum for a meeting shall be half plus one of eligible voting Council members. Meetings that are without quorum may propose resolutions which are to be voted upon by the next meeting which has a quorum of voting members.
  8. No proxies shall be accepted.
  9. All decisions of the Council shall be taken by a majority of the eligible votes. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson of the meeting shall cast the deciding vote.

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Article 7: Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, the Secretary-Treasurer, the Program Chair of the past World Congress, and the Program Chair and Local Arrangements Chair of the current Congress.
  2. The offices of President, First Vice President, and Second Vice President shall be elected for a term of four years.
  3. Members of the Executive Committee, other than the Secretary-Treasurer, are eligible for only one term in the same office.
  4. Nominees for the position of President will be drawn from individuals who have previously served (in a voting capacity) on the IRSA Council, currently serve on Council, or are voting members of the incoming IRSA Council. An individual may not be nominated for the position of President if they are from the same member association as the outgoing President. Individuals may fill an office only once in their lifetime.
  5. Nominees for the positions of Vice President will be drawn from individuals who currently serve on Council.
  6. The President, First Vice President and Second Vice President shall be from three different member associations.
  7. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for implementing the decisions of the Council, shall account for its functions to the Council, and shall seek Council approval for emergency action taken between meetings of the Council.
  8. Should a position on the Executive Committee become vacant between elections, the Council shall elect a Council member to serve for the unexpired period.

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Article 8: Executive Officers

  1. The President and two Vice Presidents shall be official members of all bodies of the Association. One of them or a designate shall preside at all meetings of the Association.
  2. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be selected by the Council and serve at their pleasure. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be charged with general and financial administration of the Association and shall receive instructions from the Executive Committee through the President. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be accountable for their actions to the Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee.

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Article 9: Finance

  1. The Association shall be financed by:
    (1) Member subscriptions
    (2) Surplusses from world congresses
    (3) Sale of Association publications
    (4) Donations
    (5) Other lawful means.
  2. Members of the Council, the Executive Committee, and the Secretary-Treasurer shall serve in an honorary capacity.
  3. The Executive Committee shall decide reimbursement for any reasonable expenses incurred by officers, Council, Secretary-Treasurer or other members who carry out work for the Association.
  4. The Association is a non-profit organization – any profits or capital shall be used solely in accordance with the provisions of Article 1 of the Constitution.
  5. Sponsoring member organizations shall be called upon to support and underwrite the establishment and successful functioning of the International Rural Sociology Association. All matters pertinent to IRSA’s programs, congress meetings, balloting, etc., shall be included in notifications to sponsoring organizations.
  6. Membership dues shall be established by the Council as detailed in the By-laws.

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Article 10: By-Laws and Regulations

  1. Any subjects under the provisions of the Constitution calling for more detailed rules shall be set forth by By-laws and regulations. Such rules shall be decided upon by the Council and must not be at variance with the Constitution.
  2. Proposed amendments to the By-laws and regulations may be initiated by members of the Executive Committee, the Council, or any five voting members representing at least two of the sponsoring organizations. Such amendments must be approved by the Council.
  3. 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 90 days in advance of General Assembly meetings.

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Article 11: Provision for Organization of New Regional or National Societies or Associations

  1. Where no regional or national rural sociology society or association has been constituted, the Executive Committee may appoint a representative or a committee to canvass for members and to assist in making arrangements for the organization of a society or association commensurate with the objectives of the Constitution. Acceptance of new sponsoring or associate organizations is dependent upon Council approval.

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Article 12: Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

  1. The Executive Committee may, subject to Council approval, establish such Standing and Ad Hoc Committees as may be deemed necessary for the effective functioning of IRSA. An Ad Hoc Congress Committee and Local Arrangements Committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee at least three years before a Congress.
  2. Past Presidents of IRSA will serve as an advisory group, and will advise the President on constitutional and other matters.

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Article 13: Amendments and Dissolution

  1. The Constitution may be amended or the Association be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of the individual members present at a General Assembly. Amendments or a proposal to dissolve must be advertised to all members six months in advance of General Assembly meetings. Such notification must contain the full written text of the amendment being proposed. Such dissolutions would be valid only if at least three-fourths of all voting members of the Association take part in a voting procedure. Should this latter requirement not be fulfilled, a postal ballot shall be sent to all voting members within three months and a two-thirds majority of those voting shall be sufficient for the dissolution of the Association.
  2. A resolution to dissolve the Association shall name those persons who will be charged with the liquidation of the Association’s assets and properties. Such assets and properties shall be used for the public benefit in accordance with the provisions of Article 1 of the Constitution.

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Article 14: Incorporation/Organization

  1. IRSA is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, including for such purpose, the making of distributions to organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or the corresponding section of any future Federal tax code) of the United States of America.
  2. No part of the net earnings of IRSA shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, trustees, directors, officers or other private persons, except that the Association shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of Section 501(c)(3) of the United States of America Internal Revenue Code purposes. No substantial part of the activities of IRSA shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and IRSA shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
  3. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, IRSA shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation/organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code) or (b) by a corporation/organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code) of the United States of America.
  4. Upon the dissolution of IRSA, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America, or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the Federal government or to a state or local government for a public purpose.

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General Assembly Minutes

Minutes from IRSA General Assembly Meeting
XI World Congress of Rural Sociology
July 29, 2004


The General Assembly was attended by 82 delegates. A full listing of names and affiliations is found in the appendix.

Frank Vanclay opened the General Assembly at 16:20 p.m. He asked that we proceed in a timely fashion to ensure that we finish by 18:15.

He then briefly reviewed IRSA’s organizational objectives, which include support of rural sociology in different regions of the world and promotion of dialogues and useful exchanges among rural sociologists around the world.

Vanclay announced his successor, Prof. Alessandro Bonanno, In-Coming President and introduced the Out-Going and In-Coming Executive Committees and Council members, requesting that those members in attendance stand to be acknowledged.

Vanclay asked that the minutes from the 2000 General Assembly held in Rio de Janeiro, be accepted. Moved by Ray Jussaume and seconded by Mark Shucksmith that the minutes from the 2000 General Assembly held in Rio de Janeiro de accepted. (Passed unanimously)

Vanclay reported on matters arising from the minutes of the 2000 General Assembly, indicating actions taken by the IRSA Executive Committee and IRSA Council in response to them.

  • IRSA needs to put its history on its website and consider creating the Office of Historian/Archivist. (A brief history of IRSA has been posted to the website that will need to be expanded and continually updated. The Secretary/Treasurer will archive important material on the website. The new Council will consider the position of Historian.)
  • IRSA needs to work on rebuilding the links with FAO. (No action has been taken on this recommendation, but the new Council has been requested to pursue this.)
  • IRSA needs to consider its potential role as a clearinghouse for international rural sociology information. (This issue was discussed further, but not implemented due to the complexity of doing so; it will be revisited by the new Council.)
  • IRSA needs to establish clear procedures for selecting World Congress sites. (This has been done through the By-laws and Procedural Manual.)
  • IRSA needs to continue to work with a possible member association in Africa. (IRSA initially attempted to establish contact with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa [CODESRIA], but had a limited response. It also invited the presidents of CODESRIA and the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa [OSSREA] to attend the current World Congress to continue exploring this linkage). The president of OSSREA, Regina Karega, accepted the invitation and is attending this General Assembly.)
  • IRSA needs to formalize its International Sociological Association (ISA) links in order to facilitate its work. (IRSA has become a “Collective Member” of ISA.)

Dave Hansen presented the Quadrennial Report (see appendix for Report).

Motion: Moved by Hans Bakker and seconded by Hugh Campbell that the Report be accepted by the General Assembly. (Passed without comment)

Dave Hansen then presented the Financial Report which shows that IRSA currently has about $35,000 in its checking and savings accounts. Over the past four years, approximately $8750 has been collected in membership dues. Major outlays during this period have been for website development and maintenance and travel by the IRSA Executive Committee. Total expenditures have been approximately $7,750. IRSA regional association members are paid up in dues through 2003. IRSA’s financial books were audited by Prof. Linda Lobao, Past President of the RSS, who certified that the accounts are in order. (see appendix for Report);

Frank Vanclay mentioned that preliminary analyses of income/expenditure streams for the current World Congress indicate that it will yield an additional income of over $10,000 for IRSA. He noted that regional and potential national members associations will pay reduced dues in the future, thus making it easier to be members. IRSA will rely more on revenues generated by World Congresses in the future.

Motion: Moved by Heather Aslin and seconded by Hilary Tovey that the Financial Report be accepted by the General Assembly (Passed without comment)

Frank Vanclay then initiated a discussion of the process of changes made to the IRSA Constitution. Major revisions in the Constitution were approved at the 2000 World Congress. Additional minor revisions have been proposed since then and they were approved by the IRSA Council at its meetings in 2002 and 2004. These changes were posted to the IRSA website for scrutiny by the membership. Copies of the changes were placed at the entry to the General Assembly room for further scrutiny by those present.

Motion: Moved by Mark Shucksmith and seconded by Philip McMichael that proposed changes to the Constitution as amended by the IRSA Council at its July 25, 2004 Meeting be approved. (Unanimously Passed)

Frank Vanclay then introduced the changes to the By-laws that have been approved by the IRSA Council at its recent meetings. He indicated that changes in By-laws are approved by the IRSA Council and ratified by the General Assembly.

Motion: Moved by Larry Busch and seconded by Josefa Cavalcanti that the changes to the By-laws as amended by the IRSA Council at its July25, 2004 meeting be ratified. (Unanimously Passed)

Frank Vanclay then introduced the IRSA Procedural Manual that had been developed over the last four years. He noted that the Procedural Manual is an important operational roadmap for the IRSA Executive Committee and IRSA Council. It further stipulates how the By-laws are to be implemented and provides for greater transparency of operations. Although there is no requirement for the General Assembly to approve the Procedural Manual, the Council wanted the General Assembly to be aware of its content, to know that it was publically accessible on the website, and to provide an opportunity for participants to comment on them. He therefore asked for a motion to note the Procedural Manual.

Motion: Moved by Heather Aslin and seconded by Geoff Lawrence that the General Assembly note the changes that have been made to the Procedural Manual (Unanimously passed)

Frank Vanclay then announced that the 2008 World Congress will be held in Korea. He presented the Programme Chairs and Local Arrangement Chair for this Congress and announced that there would be a presentation of the proposal in the closing session of the current Congress. Vanclay mentioned that he had had the opportunity to visit Seoul, Korea during June, 2004 to observe first hand where the Congress will be held. He expressed enthusiasm for the venue and confidence in the organisational capacity of the Korean Rural Sociological Society and its partner, the Korean Rural Economic Institute.

Heather Aslin raised a concern about the structure of the programme of the actual World Congress, indicating that attention should be given to the appropriate number of working groups for the 2008 World Congress. Alberto Arce also mentioned that attention needs to be given to languages used at World Congresses. More attention should be given to the opportunity to communicate in Spanish and French. Other questions were raised about the proposed venue and organisation of the 2008 World Congress.

Frank Vanclay praised the proposal presented by the Korean delegation, indicating that it set a new standard for IRSA Congresses.

Frank Vanclay then discussed what he saw as key issues that need to be addressed by IRSA in the future

  • IRSA needs to continue to develop a relationship with OSSREA and to explore how to use this relationship to further develop linkages with rural sociology in Africa.
  • IRSA needs to think strategically using a 12 year planning horizon, particularly in regard to the organisation of World Congresses.
  • IRSA needs to liaise with an African organization for the hosting of the 2012 World Congress, with a proposal to be considered in 2008.
  • IRSA needs to increase resources and income taking into account principles of equity and partnering with development organisations. The latter should be approached to secure support for those with limited resource capacity to attend IRSA Congresses. The IRSA Executive Committee and IRSA Council need to develop IRSA’s capacity to approach these organisations to solicit this support.
  • IRSA needs to use its website more effectively, including the posting of papers of World Congresses on it.
  • IRSA needs to consider developing a statement of values, vision and mission.

In-Coming President, Alessandro Bonanno, then thanked Frank Vanclay for his enormous contributions to IRSA and presented him with a plaque of appreciation for them.

Bonanno mentioned that globalisation will remain a key issue and that its impact will continue to define a key role for IRSA. He asked everyone to participate in the deliberation of this trend and its impacts on rural society. He further invited all to contribute ideas to IRSA about how to accomplish this.

A discussion of the current Congress ensued. Mark Shucksmith and Lynda Cheshire reported on the programme, indicating that over 800 abstracts had been received with over 575 registrations and 551 papers accepted. They thanked the symposia and working group chairs for their great efforts and suggested that they may still have work to do. They thanked Marit Haugen and Reidar Almas, Local Arrangements Committee, for their excellent inputs and Frank Vanclay, President, for his guidance. Shucksmith then formally expressed his thanks to Lynda Cheshire for having kept things moving during his period of recovery following surgery.

Reidar Almas then spoke on behalf of the Local Arrangements Committee. He thanked Frank Vanclay and Dave Hansen along with Mark Shucksmith and Lynda Cheshire for their support for and collaboration with the Local Arrangements Committee. He also thanked Marit Haugen for her invaluable contributions to local arrangements. The final number of participants was 600 consisting of 547 Congress participants and 53 accompanying participants. The Local Arrangements Committee had worked to get funding for simultaneous translation, but did not succeed.

A series of recommendations and suggestions about how to improve future World Congresses were then raised by those in attendance, including

  • Attention to speaking English to a multi-lingual audience
  • Balance between Working Groups and Symposia
  • Organisation of conferences within the context of local culture and rural issues
  • Use of non theater style rooms
  • Styles of presentations in symposia and working groups
  • Visits to research sites with mini-presentations at field sites
  • Graduate student scholarships for translation inputs
  • Opportunities for non-native English participants to speak
  • Appropriate venues that allow for people involved in Working Groups to translate for each other

Ki Whan Chung, Local Arrangements Committee Chair for the proposed 2008 World Congress, indicated that translation costs in Korea are very expensive. He indicated that programme chairs may need to decide how to deal with translation needs at the next Congress.

Motion: The General Assembly thank the Local Organising Team and the Programme Chair and Deputy Programme Chair for an excellent Congress. (Passed with Resounding Acclamation)

The General Assembly closed at 5:50 p.m.

General Assembly

Attendance List for General Assembly, 2004 Meeting

Name Institutional Affiliation Regional Assoc.
Frank Vanclay University of Tasmania AON
Alessandro Bonanno Sam Houston State University, USA RSS
David Hansen Ohio State University, USA RSS
Gil Sun Kang SNU, Korea ARSA
Chija Kim Cheong SNU, Korea ARSA
Chung Ki Whan Korea Rural Economic Institute ARSA
Heather Aslin Bureau of Rural Sciences, Australia AON
Ji Woong Cheong SNU, Korea ARSA
Sang-Bin Kang SNU, Korea ARSA
Joseph Molnar Auburn University, USA RSS
Kalyan S. Mandal Indian Institute of Management ARSA
Vaughan Higgins Monash University, Australia ARSA
Marian Shriver Wageningen University, Netherlands ESRS
Tai-Hun Kim KNU, Korea ARSA
Oakla CHO Sogang University, Korea ARSA
Joo-sook Kim Hanshin University, Korea ARSA
Shun Mukasa Mie-University, Japan ARSA
Haruo Kumai TUA, Japan ARSA
Haruo Kuroyanagi Sugiyama Women’s University, Japan ARSA
Jan Elder James Cook University, Australia AON
Bettina Bock Wageningen University, Netherlands ESRS
Imre Kovach Inst. of Political Sciences, Hungary ESRS
Jose Ramon Mauleon Un. of Basque Country, Spain ESRS
Alex Koutsouris Agricultural Un. of Athens, Greece ESRS
Ola Aaten Norwegian. Ag. Econ. Research Ins. ESRS
Regina Karega Kenyatta University, Kenya OSSREA
Bjorn Egil Flo Centre of Rural Research, Norway ESRS
Hitomi Nakamichi Ehime University, Japan ARSA
Reidar Almas Centre of Rural Research, Norway ESRS
Lynda Cheshire University of Queensland, Australia AON
John Wilkinson Fed. Rural Un. of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil ALASRU
Philip McMichael Cornell University, USA RSS
Manuel Belo Moreira Tech. University of Lisbon, Portugal ESRS
Josefa Salete Cavalcanti Fed. University of Pernambuco, Brasil ALASRU
Kevin O’Toole Deakin University, Australia AON
Bill Reimer Concordia University, Canada RSS
Hilary Tovey Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland ESRS
Lynelle Osburn Charles Sturt University, Australia AON
Christian Deverre INRA, Avignon, France ESRS
Joachim Singelmann Louisiana State University, USA RSS
Jose E. Rodriguez R. Uni. Central de Veracruz, Mexico ALASRU
Bertrand Hervieu CIHEAM, Paris ESRS
Marc Barbier INRA, Paris ESRS
Keiko Wakabayashi Un. of Agriculture, Tokyo ARSA
Grzegorz Forys Academy of Education Krakow, Poland ESRS
Krzysztof Gorlach Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland ESRS
Eva Kucerova Czech Un. of Agriculture, Prague ESRS
Karl Bruckmeier University of Goteborg, Sweden ESRS
Wakigo Zakata Kushiro Public Un. of Econ., Japan ARSA
David O’Brien University of Missouri, USA RSS
Raymond A. Jussaume Washington State University, USA RSS
Yolanda Massieu Un. Auton. Metropolitana, Mexico ALASRU
Rosa Luz Gonzalez Un. Auton. Metropolitana, Mexico ALASRU
Marit Haugen Centre for Rural Research, Norway ESRS
Elsa Faugere INRA, France ESRS
Nathalie Lewis CEMAGREF Bordeaux, France ESRS
Lucie Dupre INRA, France ESRS
Alberto Arce Wageningen University, Netherlands ESRS
Stewart Lockie Central Queensland University, Australia AON
Mara Miele University of Cardiff, Wales, U.K. ESRS
Kathryn Teigen DeMaster University of Wisconsin, USA RSS
Hans Bakker University of Guelph, Canada RSS
Mark Shucksmith University of Aberdeen, Scotland ESRS
Hugh Campbell University of Otago, New Zealand AON
Charlotte Fabbianson University of Western Sydney, Australia AON
Jenny Onyz Univ. of Technology, Sydney, Australia AON
Paul Milbourne Cardiff University, Wales, U.K. ESRS
Brian Cheers University of South Australia AON
Mieczyslaw Adamowicz Warsaw Agricultural University, Poland ESRS
Wynne Wright University of North Iowa, USA RSS
Keiko Tanaka University of Kentucky, USA RSS
Lawrence Busch Michigan State University, USA RSS
Li Guoqing Chinese Academy of Social Sciences ARSA
Surichai Wun’Gaeo Chulalonkorn University, Thailand ARSA
Akiyoshi Takahashi Tokyo University, Japan ARSA
Geoff Lawrence University of Queensland, Australia AON
Blanca Rubio UNAM, Mexico ALASRU
Aurora Cristina Martinez UNAM, Mexico ALASRU
Garth Cant University of Canterbury, New Zealand AON

Secretary-Treasurer Quadrennial Report

1. IRSA Journal

Sponsorship of a journal to disseminate research results was explored by an IRSA Council Task Force, with active participation by Goran Djurfeldt, ESRS representative, and Frank Vanclay, President. A tentative agreement was reached with CABI International in the U.K. to publish it, and an editor for the journal was identified. Negotiations were eventually discontinued because of projected costs and a decision by the proposed editor to decline the position. Ultimately, it was also recognized that IRSA members have access to other international publication outlets for their research.

2. IRSA Web Site

The IRSA website was updated and further elaborated. Council decided on a domain name ( which was created on the web. IRSA contracted with Mark Jarvis, Digital Memories, located in Colombia, Missouri, to manage the website. Mr. Jarvis reorganized the website and has continued to update and amplify it as instructed by members of IRSA Council, the IRSA Executive Committee, and the World Congress Program and Local Arrangements Committees. Mr. Jarvis has offered to prepare a report of his activities and will provide recommendations related to future website needs.

3. International Sociological Association Membership

IRSA formally joined the International Sociological Association (ISA) and has been registered as an Affiliate Member. The decision to join was prompted by Council discussion and perceived similarity of interests between IRSA and ISA. IRSA is formally listed on ISA’s membership list (see

4. Revision of Constitution, By-laws, Procedural Manual

Under the leadership of President Vanclay, the Constitution, By-laws and Procedural Manual for IRSA were substantially modified. Modifications provide greater clarification about issues and procedures that are essential to effective organizational maintenance and performance by IRSA.

5. Revision of Annual Dues

Among the changes proposed to the By-laws, one of great significance is the reduction in dues payments by regional association members. The reduction was in response to concerns raised about the amount of membership fees, the ability of members from some regions to pay, and equity concerns. Regional association dues will be cut approximately in half. Future revenues for IRSA will be expected to come primarily from surplus revenues generated by World Congresses.

6. Mid-Term Council Meeting

The Mid-Term Council Meeting was held in conjunction with the July, 2002 Congress of the International Sociology Association in Brisbane, Australia. This meeting was well attended. At it, Council endorsed the changes being proposed to the Constitution, By-laws and Procedural Manual. Council also approved several other items, such as the decision to focus on Asia for the 2008 World Congress (see for detailed minutes of this meeting).

7. Strengthening Rural Sociology Networks in Africa

The Executive Committee focused on strengthening rural sociology in Africa, a major region of the world with limited representation and limited organization of rural sociological research and teaching. President Vanclay worked with the Committee for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), an association based in Senegal. CODESRIA may continue to be a focal point of contact for future similar efforts in Africa.

8. Regional Association Meetings Attended

During the past four years the IRSA Executive Committee focused on interacting with regional association members. Members of the Executive Committee attended meetings of member associations. President Vanclay continued to provide leadership to the AON. He also attended a meeting of the ESRS in Dijon, France in 2001. Alessandro Bonanno, Vice President, attended an ALASRU meeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2002 and attended RSS meetings. President Vanclay and Secretary Hansen attended the 2nd ARSA Congress in Indonesia, Spring, 2004.

9. Location of the 2008 World Congress

A formal call was made for bids to host the 2008 World Congress in late 2003. The invitation to submit bids was made through the leadership of the member regional associations. IRSA announced that its preference was for a bid from Asia and it received a preliminary bid from the Korean Rural Sociological Society in collaboration with the Korean Rural Economic Institute. Its authors were encouraged to seek the support of ARSA for this effort. During the ARSA Congress in Lombok, Indonesia in Spring, 2004, President Vanclay and Secretary Hansen met with the leadership of ARSA and Korean delegation members to discuss the proposal, and ARSA formally endorsed the bid at that time.

10. Selection of In-Coming IRSA Leadership

In-Coming Council ­ In Spring, 2004, each IRSA regional association member was requested to nominate three representatives to the In-Coming Council for the period 2004-2008. These names were provided to the Secretary-Treasurer and will be posted to the IRSA web site following the 11th World Congress.

President: A formal request was sent to IRSA regional association members through their Council representatives, requesting that they encourage current and past members of the IRSA Council to stand for President. After considerable dialogue, two nominations went forward to the Out-Going Council for vote. Prof. Alessandro Bonanno, Sam Houston State University, USA, was elected to the position.

June 22, 2004

Checking Account:





















$ 401.00
Beginning Balance
Vanclay Visit to OSU
Balance Transfer from Luloff
ESRS Dues Payment
Vanclay ­ Dijon Meeting
Vanclay ­ Dijon Meeting
Djurfeld ­ Dijon Meeting
RSS Dues Payment
Vanclay/Hansen ­ Brisbane
Digital Memories
ALASRU Dues Payment
AON Dues Payment
RSS Dues Payment
ISA Dues Payment
Digital Memories
Internet Corp. Listing Srvc.
ISA Dues Payment
Digital Memories
ESRS Dues Payment
RSS Dues Payment
Digital Memories
Wire Transfer Fee
Mark Jarvis (Web Site)
AON Dues Payment
Vanclay/Hansen ARSA
Hansen ARSA Travel Exp.
ALASRU Dues Payment
Mark Jarvis (Web Site)

Savings Account:















Open Account




































































Council Meeting Minutes July 25, 2004

Minutes/Out-Going Council Meeting
Trondheim, Norway
July 25, 2004

Outgoing Council

Frank Vanclay (President)
David Hansen (Secretary/Treasurer)
Phil McMichael, RSS
Reidar Almas (Local Arrangements Chair)
Marit Haugen (Local Arrangements Co-Chair)
Mark Shucksmith (Program Chair)
Anita Brumer, ALASRU
Heather Aslin, AON
Stewart Lockie, AON
Hilary Tovey, ESRS
Haruo Kuroyanagi,
Hugh Campbell, AON
Imre Kovach, ESRS

Bernardino Mata G, ALASRU
Abdoulaye Sene (Africa)
Goran Djurfeldt, ESRS
Atsushi Kitahara, ARSA
Rosiady Sayuti, ARSA
Diego Pineiro, ALASRU

Incoming Council

Oakla Cho, ARSA
Paul Milbourne, ESRS
Bettina Bock, ESRS
Hans Bakker, RSS
Lynda Cheshire, AON

Yoshio Kawamura, ARSA
Alessandro Bonanno, RSS
Surichai Wun’Gaeo, ARSA
Ray Jussaume, RSS
Garbriela Martinez D., ALASRU
Luciano Martinez V, ALASRU
Henrique de Barros, ALASRU

Others invited
Guoqing Li, ARSA
Regina Karega, OSSREA
Tai-Hun Kim, KRSS
Joo-sook Kim, KRSS
Ki-Whan Chung

Others present
Bonita Rubio, ALASRU
Ana Maria Aragones, ALASRU
Cesar Ramirez, ALASRU

Frank Vanclay formally opened the meeting at 14:00. He briefly introduced those present and then reviewed an informal meeting that was held during the morning with the Korean delegation that proposes to host the XII World Congress in 2008. He explained the procedure he intended to use for voting on motions and sought approval from everyone to proceed in that manner.

Marit Haugen and Reidar Almas reported on preparations for the current World Congress. Marit Haugen indicated that the Local Arrangement Committee had established a division of labor which included four different groups, each tasked with specific duties: (1) Finances; (2) Excursions; (3) Logistics and Publicity; and (4) Social Arrangements. She indicated that this organizational structure had worked well. Reidar Almas reported that the Congress was likely to generate a surplus. Coordination of local arrangements activities with those of the Programme Committee had gone very well. The same had been the case for coordination between this Committee and the IRSA Executive Committee.

Mark Shucksmith and Lynda Cheshire reported on the programme. They noted that over 800 abstracts were submitted and over 550 participants had registered. Mark Shucksmith indicated that the programme has been structured to maximise participation by attendees. He then recognised the essential contributions made by Lynda Cheshire to program organisation while he underwent surgery and recovered from it. She picked up where he left off and kept the process moving forward. Some problems were experienced with participant withdrawals, but they have been resolved. The programme may reflect some problems with regional balance and gender balance due to withdrawals, but they were unavoidable and have been addressed to the extent possible.

Motion: Mark Shucksmith, Lynda Cheshire, Reidar Almas and Marit Haugen be congratulated for their efforts. (Passed with acclamation)

Frank Vanclay then turned to the minutes of the last Council Meetings held in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2000 and in Brisbane in August, 2002, both of which had already been approved by Council via e-mail. There were no additional comments on the minutes.

Dave Hansen presented the IRSA Quadrennial Report which describes major activities of IRSA since the last World Congress. (See appendix).

Motion: The IRSA Council accepts the Quadrennial Report. (Passed)

Dave Hansen was then requested to present the Treasurer’s Report. This Report shows that IRSA currently has a balance of over $35,000 in its checking and savings accounts. He presented a letter from Linda Lobao, Past RSS President, certifying that she had reviewed the IRSA accounts and that they are in order.

Motion: The IRSA Council accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. (Passed)

Frank Vanclay then requested Dr. Ki-Whan Chung, the proposed Local Arrangements Chair for the 2008 World Congress, to present an overview of the Korean bid. Dr. Chung tabled a very detailed, professionally produced formal proposal outlining all aspects of the planned Congress. He indicated that they would like to hold it in Seoul, Korea. It will be hosted by the Korean Rural Sociology Society (KRSS) in collaboration with the Korean Rural Economic Institute (KREI). He identified the proposed Programme Chair, (Yoshio Kawamura), Programme Co-Chair (Cheong), and Programme Deputy Chair (Jussaume) and indicated that the preferred time for the World Congress would be from June 22-28, 2008. The proposed Congress theme is “Envisioning a Prosperous Rural Future in a Globalizing World.” Ki-Whan Chung then reviewed elements of the proposed organisation and implementation of the World Congress, indicating that they will be similar to those of the XI World Congress. They expect to host about 1,000 participants, many of whom will come from Asia. The proposed budget is balanced and includes the provision of revenues from registration fees, sponsors, and other sources. Ki-Whan Chung assured everyone that personal safety is not an issue, noting that Korea has had extensive experience in organising successful large international conferences.

Frank Vanclay indicated that he had the opportunity to visit Korea in June 2004 when he attended the RC24 Environmental Sociology conference. While in Seoul, he had the opportunity to meet with the Korean delegation, inspect the proposed facilities, and discuss finer points of the proposal. He indicated that he was very impressed wth what he has seen, and he strongly recommended that the proposal be accepted by Council. Several Council members expressed their satisfaction with the proposal and congratulated the Korean delegation for their efforts. Issues that were raised in ensuring discussion included clarification of which costs will be covered by registration fees, the potential need to vary registration fees to reflect ability of delegates from lower income countries to pay, and the most appropriate dates for the Congress.

Frank Vanclay mentioned that the issue of holding the Congress in a city a 10,000,000 represented something of a paradox, given that we represent a “rural” perspective. He also noted that the use of a very large convention center was also new. He suggested that Council accept the bid in principle with the understanding that details can be worked out in the future.

Motion: Korea be recognized as the location for the 2008 World Congress and the Executive Committee finalise a Memorandum of Understanding for the hosting of the Congress. (Unanimously Passed)

Frank Vanclay then asked for a discussion of the proposed dates of the Congress. European Council members indicated that late August was best for them because of other commitments. AON members indicated that this timing would be difficult for them because they will be teaching then. Following length discussion on various dates, Frank Vanclay recommended that the Korean delegation consider holding the Conference during the first week of July. This recommendation was approved by the Council.

Frank Vanclay then asked Council to recognise and thank the Korean delegation for their efforts in preparing such an excellent proposal and for their presentation to Council. Council did so by providing Ki-Whan Chung and other members of the Korean delegation with an enthusiastic round of applause.

He also announced that Ki-Whan Chung now automatically becomes a member of the In-Coming Council as Local Arrangements Chair and that Yoshio Kawamura now automatically becomes a member as In-Coming Programme Chair.

Frank Vanclay brought up proposed changes to the Constitution. He noted that the Executive Committee has been able to road test the proposed changes by applying many of them to IRSA activities during the past two years. The following motions for alterations in the Constitution were considered by the Council:

Motion: The IRSA Council approves the replacement of ‘elect’ with ‘nominate’ in Article 6(b) of the Constitution. (Passed)

Motion: The IRSA Council approves the exemption of the Secretary-Treasurer in Article 7(c ) of the Constitution. (Passed)

Hilary Tovey raised a concern about wording in Article 12(b) of the Constitution, noting that the wording Probi Viri was sexist. She also mentioned that she had made this point at the 2002 Council Meeting in Brisbane and had through that we had agreed to fix it then.

It was moved that the IRSA Council approve a change to Article 12(b) deleting the words “to be known as the Probi Viri Council, and”. (Passed)

Motion: The Constitution as amended be approved and recommended to the General Assembly. (Passed)

Frank Vanclay then discussed proposed additional changes to the By-laws. The following motions for change were considered and approved by Council:

Motion: IRSA Council approves the inclusion in By-law 2 of a procedure to provide a waiver of dues payments to regional associations in cases of hardship (Passed)

Motion: IRSA Council approves a change to By-law 4 to specify that the manner of vote counting will be by the Preferential Counting method (with the understanding that Council members need not vote for everyone on an election slate. (Passed)

Motion: IRSA Council approves mention of the Out-Going President in By-law 6. (Passed)

Motion: IRSA Council approves a change to By-law 2 so that it reads as follows:

“The membership fee for Regional Organisations 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 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. These prescribed fees shall be reviewed by the Council at the Out-Gong 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, organizations with a membership of greater than 800 members, the total fee for the four year period shall be $600. In the case of organisations with between 200 and 800 members, the fee shall be a total of $400, and in the case of organizations 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 the regional organization, it may apply in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer for a fee waiver. These prescribed fees shall be reviewed by the Council at the Out-Going Council meeting at each World Congress.

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

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

Motion: IRSA Council approve that the By-laws as amended be approved and recommended to the General Assembly. (Passed)

Frank Vanclay then introduced proposed changes to the Procedural Manual, which were presented as a series of motions to be passed by the Council.

Motion: IRSA Council approves the Secretary-Treasurer as someone entitled to reimbursements in the Reimbursement Section of the Procedural Manual. (Passed)

Motion: IRSA Council approves a range of other cosmetic and grammatical changes to the Procedural Manual as tabled by President Frank Vanclay at the Council meeting of 25 July 2004. (Passed)

Motion: The Procedural Manual as amended be approved and forwarded to the General Assembly for noting. (Passed)

Frank Vanclay then initiated discussion of possible nominees for the position of Editor of the Elsevier published book series, “Research in Rural Sociology and Development (RRSD)” which is published with endorsement by RSS, IRSA and ESRS. He asked for names of candidates for this position. Considerable discussion ensued regarding the organisation of the editorial dimension of this series, including the role of board members. Council noted a list of possible candidates presented by Frank Vanclay. Hilary Tovey suggested that some comment about the role of the Editorial Board needed to be conveyed to Fred Buttel.

Motion: The IRSA Council recommends that members suggest additional names for the position of Editor to Frank Vanclay during the current IRSA Congress, and that the issue of what names to be put forward and/or statement to make to Fred Buttel be resolved by the Executive Committee. (Passed)

Frank Vanclay then brought up the possibility that papers from the XI World Congress be posted to the IRSA website. He noted that this topic had been discussed at the informal meeting held that morning. Various pros and cons for this activity were discussed. Some indicated that posting articles would encourage additional use of the IRSA website, and others indicated that it would facilitate World Congress participation by some since they might find it easier to obtain support for attendance if they could show that their papers would be posted on the website. Others argued against the proposal, indicating that there could be major quality, liability and other troubling issues associated with it.

Motion: The IRSA Council recommends, in principle, that conference papers be published on the website and entrusts the Executive Committee to finalize any remaining concerns. (Passed)

Frank Vanclay then brought up some issues that should be of concern to us in the future. One is to develop relationships with rural sociology in Africa. The Organisation of Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) is a logical point of contact for doing so. He argued that IRSA should consider Africa as the potential site for the 2012 World Congress. He strongly encouraged the In-Coming Council to approve this suggestion. He then mentioned the development of proposals for World Congresses. It is important in the future that proposals be nurtured by the IRSA Executive Committee. He noted that the Executive Committee needs to link with sponsors to provide real subsidies and discounts that will enable greater attendance at the World Congresses. The capacity of IRSA Executive Committee to work with sponsors needs to be strengthened. IRSA also needs to increase opportunities for rural sociologists to publish their research. He then suggested that the Executive Committee, with advice from Council, continue to make the IRSA website a more useful resource.

Frank Vanclay then thanked Dave Hansen, Secretary/Treasurer, for the support given to him during his term as President. He indicated that the Council has accomplished much during the past four years. He thanked Council for its support of his agenda, and for working with him to accomplish concrete objectives during his administration.

The meeting was formally closed at 16:05.

Council Meeting Minutes July 7, 2002

Reidar Almas, Local Arrangements, 2004
Heather Aslin, AON
Hugh Campbell, AON
David Hansen, RSS
Stewart Lockie, AON
Phil McMichael, RSS
Mark Shucksmith, Program Chair, 2004
Hilary Tovey, ESRS
Frank Vanclay, President, IRSA

Alessandro Bonanno, RSS
Anita Brumer, ALASRU
Goran Djurfeldt, ESRS
Marit Haugen, Local Arrangements, 2004
Imre Kovach, ESRS
Bernardino Mata G., ALASRU
Diego Pineiro, ALASRU
Adboulaye Sene, Africa

Vanclay called the meeting to order at 1:45 p.m.

1.) Vanclay opened the session with a discussion of the minutes for the Council and General Assembly meetings in Rio. He asked if it would be appropriate to solicit formal acceptance of minutes of these meetings, which had been previously distributed by e-mail. He indicated that e-mail may be best way to solicit feedback on minutes given that not all Council members are able to attend all of the meetings. Vanclay moved that minutes for July 30 and August 4, 2000 Council meetings be adopted. Lockie seconded the motion, which was unanimously passed. Vanclay noted that minutes for the 2,000 General Assembly will be presented for adoption at the following General Assembly in Trondheim in 2004.

2.) Vanclay then initiated a discussion of the significance of the mid-term meeting. He asked if IRSA should give it a high profile given potential importance for planning the next World Congress. Council members concurred with this perspective, and supported the notion that all Council members should be encouraged to attend future meetings.

3.) Hansen then presented an updated Financial Report for the Association. It documented expenditures and receipts of funds since March, 2001, when he initiated his tenure in this position. Aslin moved that the statement be received and approved by Council. Seconded by Tovey, the motion was unanimously approved.

4.) Vanclay initiated a discussion about member associations. He brought up a recurrent problem of timely receipt of dues payments from member associations. Currently, ESRS, ALASRU, RSS and AON are in good standing. Discussion focused on RUM and the fact that it was an active regional association in the past, but that it have not been active for some time, nor has it paid dues for some time. Almas proposed that the Secretary/Treasurer make all reasonable attempts to have RUM pay its dues prior to the end of the year. He motioned that if it does not pay its dues by the end of the year, it should no longer be considered to be a member of IRSA. This motion was seconded by Aslin and unanimously passed.

5.) Vanclay then moved the discussion to the membership status of ARSA. ARSA has participated in previous IRSA activities; and Japanese representatives actually presented a bid for the 2004 World Congress in Rio. Vanclay mentioned that ARSA has had representatives on Council, but that it has as yet not made formal application to join IRSA. Tovey motioned that IRSA treat ARSA membership and dues payments in the same way as for RUM. The motion was seconded by Aslin and adopted unanimously.

6.) Shucksmith noted that interaction with ARSA should be handled with great tact, given the complexities of East and Southeast Asian national politics. Vanclay mentioned that IRSA is seriously considering Asia as the site for the 2008 World Congress. He argued that the opportunity to host the World Congress can be used to encourage them to formally join IRSA. Tovey asked about rural sociology in India. Vanclay indicated that it has been present in India as a discipline for a long time, but that it is embedded in sociology as a discipline. Vanclay mentioned that it would be nice if ARSA could officially host the Congress. Tovey indicated that ARSA would have to be a solid member by 2004 if it were to host the 2008 conference.

7.) Since the Rio Council meeting, IRSA’s African regional representative has been Prof Abdouleye Sene, who has been the principal link between CODESRIA (the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa) and IRSA. Vanclay communicated with CODESRIA last year. Sene recently reconfirmed with Vanclay that CODESRIA is interested in becoming a member of IRSA.

8.) Vanclay then discussed proposed changes to the Constitution. He indicated that we need to change the fee structure, because it is inequitable for less developed regions and because IRSA has found it difficult to collect dues. He further indicated that other organizations also wanted to join IRSA. Tovey asked why we favor regional member associates as opposed to national member associates? Vanclay indicated that this was for historical reasons – regional associations (ESRS, RSS and ALASRU) originally formed IRSA. He noted that they might question why national associations were to be admitted. Another concern might be the potential large number of representatives on Council that could result. Tovey suggested that individual national rural sociological organizations should have full representation on Council. Considerable discussion followed. In closing the discussion, Vanclay proposed that the issue be decided at the 2004 General Assembly and he indicated that he would draft several alternative wordings to be considered by the Assembly. The proposal was approved by Council.

9.) In response to points raised by Tovey, Vanclay proposed that Article 3.a of the Constitution be amended by adding the clause, “subject to the approval of Council” and by deleting this wording from various places in Article 3.b. This proposal was approved by Council.

10.) Vanclay then discussed the proposed revision in By-laws. He mentioned that changes to the membership structure implied changes in the fee structure as well. Hansen raised a concern about the considerable loss of revenue to IRSA that would result from this proposed change. Vanclay recalled a statement he made at the Rio Council meeting that ‘whether IRSA liked it or not, it was inevitably “in the Conference business”.’ IRSA’s main source of income should be revenue surpluses from Conferences. He indicated that a small percentage surplus from a Conference would make membership fee income almost insignificant by comparison, given the large amount of funding involved in Conferences. Almas indicated that we will then need to be very careful about where we will hold Conferences. He questioned whether it would be possible to get Conference organizers to think in terms of generating surpluses. He thought that the Rio Conference was somewhat atypical and that, even for the Trondheim meetings, it would be difficult to generate a surplus. Others also raised a concern that “international conferences” can have high levels of financial risk associated with them. Tovey opposed the notion that one of the purposes of Conferences was to generate “profits.” (surplus revenues). The appropriateness of using Conference surplus revenues to support developmental work by IRSA was also raised. Tovey asked if membership fees under the reduced fee structure would be sufficient to cover the development costs of IRSA. Vanclay indicated that this would probably not be the case. A system of differential fees was discussed at length with members agreeing that a differential system should be considered. Council agreed to consider this further and Vanclay indicated that differential fees would be included in the options to be presented to the General Assembly in 2004.

11.) Vanclay indicated that By-law 11, which deals with the audit of IRSA finances, will be changed by deleting the term “professional auditor,” since this category is not readily used in the USA. A senior figure associated with IRSA will asked to perform this service. Council approved this action.

12.) In discussing the IRSA Procedural Manual, questions were again raised about the World Congresses generating “profit.” The point was raised that acceptable surpluses generated by some Congresses are needed to buffer possible losses by other Congresses in order to promote their occurrence in regions of the world where “financial risk” is greater. Vanclay agreed to change the language in the section on “Organisational Arrangements relating to Congresses” to reflect these concerns.

13.) It was suggested that the wording of the section on “Reimbursement of Expenses” be changed to reflect that, on occasion, the President may be represented by an appropriate Council member. Council members approved the proposed change in wording.

14). Vanclay moved and Tovey seconded that IRSA make a contribution towards the costs for the Secretary/Treasurer, acting as the President’s representative, to attend the ALASRU meetings in Porto Alegre in November, 2002. This motion was unanimously passed.

15.) Vanclay asked if we want to identify a preferred site for 2008, namely, Africa or Asia. Considerable discussion ensued. Lockie asked if individual country associations could present a bid. Almas moved and Tovey seconded that priority be given to Africa and Asia. This motion passed unanimously.

16.) Almas discussed the 2004 meeting in Trondheim. The Congress will be held from July 25-30. A contract has been signed with a private firm to manage it. Over 500 participants are expected. Budgeting is based on scenarios that involve from 350 to 700 participants. Cheap hotel and university rooms have been reserved for the Conference.

17.) Almas reported that translators, f used, will consume from 10-20% of the proposed budget for the 2004 Congress in Trondheim. He recommended that it be an English language Conference only. Considerable discussion of appropriate language policy for the Conference followed. Summarizing the discussion, Almas was asked to pursue all possible avenues to secure sponsorship, specifically for translation. It was suggested that French embassies might have finances available for this purpose. Should he be unsuccessful in obtaining this sponsorship, Council reluctantly accepted the fact that no translation services would be provided.

18.) Shucksmith had previously circulated the proposed World Congress theme statement. Vanclay moved that Almas and Shucksmith immediately be authorized to distribute the Program Theme, including at the ISA meeting in Brisbane. The motion was seconded by Lockie and unanimously passed.

19.) Almas agreed to prepare a plan of action for the Conference in 2004 to be presented to Council for its consideration and guidance.

20.) Vanclay updated Council on IRSA Journal Task Force activities. Norman Long, the nominated editor, had recently asked to withdraw from this obligation. Several other assumptions regarding the development of the journal have not materialized, and the required outside sponsorship has not been achieved. Given the JAI/Elsevier book series, which the IRSA Executive Committee had endorsed, it was felt that there was a potential overlap between the proposed journal and the book series. Vanclay felt that IRSA’s objective in having a journal could be met by endorsement of the book series. Vanclay proposed that he officially inform CABI that we are not pursuing the journal initiative at this time. This motion was seconded by Aslin and unanimously passed.

21.) The IRSA Council ratified the Executive Committee’s actions in endorsing the JAI/Elsevier Book Series to be edited by Fred Buttel. The Executive Committee had previously nominated Norman Long, in his projected capacity as IRSA’s Journal Editor, to be IRSA’s representative on the Advisory Board for the Book Series. However, given the decision not to pursue creation of the journal, Vanclay suggested that it was no longer obvious that Norman Long should represent IRSA. Tovey moved that Frank Vanclay be IRSA’s representative. The motion was seconded by Shucksmith and unanimously passed. Given that Fred Buttel had specifically requested that Norman Long continue to be on the Advisory Board, Vanclay was instructed to advise Buttel that IRSA will support any arrangement to involve Long in an advisory capacity to the Book Series.

Meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Council Meeting Minutes August 4, 2000


Douglas H. Constance, Sam Houston State University, U.S. RSS
Theodore Downing, University of Arizona, U.S. INDR Guest
Stewart Lockie, Central Queensland University, Australia AON
Alessandro Bonanno, Sam Houston State University, U.S. RSS/VP
Joe Molnar, Auburn University, U.S. RSS/Past Pres.
Hugh Campbell, Otago University, New Zealand AON
Yair Levi, CIRCOM, Israel RUM
Imre Kovach, Institute for Political Sciences, Hungary ESRS
Hillary Tovey, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland ESRS
Goran Djurfeldt, University of Lund, Sweden ESRS
Atsushi Kitahara, Nagoya University, Japan ARSA
Rosiady Sayuti, University of Mataram, Indonesia ARSA
Marit S. Haugen, Centre for Rural Research, Trondeim, Norway ESRS
Reider Almas, Centre for Rural Research, Trondeim, Norway ESRS
Mark Shucksmith, Arkleton Rural Dev. Centre, Aberdeen, Scotland ESRS
Diego Pineiro, Dept. of Sociology, Univ. de la Repblica, Uruguay ALASRU
Abdoulaye Sene, ISE/UCAD, Dakar, Senegal CODESRIA
Anita Brumer, Universidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil ALASRU
Bernardino Mata, Universidad Autonoma Chapingo, Mexico ALSARU
Alan Rew, CDS, University of Wales, Swansea, UK. INDR Guest

Vanclay called the meeting to order. He explained the agenda and called for introductions. He then discussed member society representatives and representation from each member society.

Vanclay then introduced Abdoulaye Sene from Senegal. Sene asked to work with IRSA towards securing member status for CODESRIA, an African Social Science organization represented by him.
Lockie motioned for acceptance of Sene as an interim representative for the African region and for IRSA to negotiate with CODESRIA to become a member organization. Djurfeldt seconded the motion which was unanimously passed.

Ted Downing, representing the International Network of Displacement and Resettlement (INDR), expressed interest in linking his organization with IRSA. He indicated that INDR seeks IRSA membership or similar status. Vanclay replied that the IRSA Constitution is not clear on how to handle this category of membership and that it needs to be changed if IRSA is to accept interest group as members. He then asked Downing to leave the room for IRSA Council discussion. After discussion on the category of membership, fees, and necessary changes to the Constitution and By-laws, Vanclay called for a motion to invite them to stay for the meeting with the understanding that a full discussion of their status will occur at a later date. Bonanno so moved and Tovey seconded. The motion carried by a vote of 7 to 1.

Allan Rue (INDR) returned to meeting and Downing excused himself. Rue provided more information about INDR and informed the Council that INDR does collect dues and is ready to contribute dues if incorporated into IRSA.

Vanclay then called for a discussion of issues related to the Congress. Initially, it centered around (a) the mugging of a woman and theft of her camera; (b) the limited space for workshops and symposia; (c) the volume of papers and lack of discussion of them; and (d) the lack of flexibility and lack of responsibility given to workshop leaders, who did not participate in the selection of papers in their own sessions ­ papers were not circulated prior to the Congress.

Vanclay reported that 1,546 participants from 72 countries has registered for the Congress. Of these, 952 were from Brazil. The Congress was originally planned for 400 participants and this number was subsequently expanded to 700. The Congress was originally programmed to take place only in Hotel Gloria, but this left a shortage of rooms for workshops as the number of participants expanded to over 1500 with the late registrants. This greatly reduced the flexibility. Since only 250 abstracts had been received by the original closing date of January 30, the date for receiving abstracts was extended for one more month. IRSA received another 1000 abstracts between February 26-28, 2000.

Several Council members suggested that the January deadline was inappropriate because it conflicted with the Brazilian vacation period. The lessons to be learned are that more flexibility is needed and that program facilities that can handle last minute changes are also needed. A concern was also raised that that the registration fee did not cover several events considered basic to the Congress. Some asked about the relationship between SOBER and IRSA, and voice concern about the large number of Brazilian participants. Vanclay responded that it was planned to be a joint conference with joint workshops, with a 50/50 split of surplus revenues generated. In this regard, the larger size of the conference made the Congress more successful.

Some Council members noted that the 2004 World Congress in Norway would be smaller, and that Rio was not a normal IRSA Congress. They also indicated that the current World Congress was a great boost for Rural Sociology internationally. Vanclay then turned the discussion to appropriate Congress strategies, such as choosing between smaller and larger universities and choosing between smaller or larger venues. Some Council members argued that bigger is good, but that bigger without discussion is not good. Others noted that language barriers created time constraints and the allocation of too much time to experts and too little time to other participants. All agreed that presenters in Norway should be allocated more than 10 minute.

Vanclay reported that the Congress received over 1700 abstracts, with most of those coming in the last week of February. This greatly increased the numbers of papers per workshop just prior to the Congress. He also identified the three presentation models used at the Congress, namely, (1) workshop papers which review individual research; (2) symposia which discuss current topics/trends; and (3) plenary sessions, which are in depth and provide opportunities for questions and answers. Vanclay discussed the high cost of technology and personnel for translations. He commented that symposia were not well attended and that they were expensive because of the use of translators. He noted that IRSA needs to work on this in the future. He also commented that IRSA needs to keep its international focus and, therefore, needs to continue to present in difference languages while attempting to overcome language barriers.

Vanclay noted that, the revised IRSA constitution was passed at the General Assembly. He then turned to the need to discuss some follow up items. Because IRSA is registered in the US as a tax exempt 501 c(3), the Secretary/Treasurer must reside in the US. IRSA is also required to have By-laws. Luloff, the past Secretary/Treasurer, proposed By-laws in 1996. The revised Constitution requires that we revise the By-laws. The IRSA Constitution represents structure and By-laws represent procedures. He asked for volunteers to draft By-laws by 2002 to permit us to have a final version of them by 2004. Bonanno suggests that by-laws be decided by the IRSA Executive Committee. Vanclay indicated that he would circulate a draft of the revised Constitution in order to receive feedback from Council members.

Vanclay then gave an overview of IRSA’s structure. Member societies with more than 100 members elect 3 representatives to the Council for four year terms. Member societies with less than 100 members elect 1 member to the Council. Currently, dues are $2 per member of each member society. If the member society does not pay dues, it is not in good standing with IRSA. The General Assembly consists of all members of all the member societies. The IRSA Council consists of elected representatives of the member societies. The Executive Committee includes the President, two Vice-Presidents, the Secretary/Treasurer, the future Program Chair, previous Program Chair, and the Local Arrangements Chair. The role of the Secretary/Treasurer is clarified by changes in the Constitution. An issue is whether in incumbent of this position should be a voting member of the Committee. This issue will be taken later.

Vanclay predicted that surplus revenues from this World Congress will be about US$20,000. These funds will be shared equally by IRSA and SOBER. Extra charges were made for room used past 6:00 p.m. and other expenses are still outstanding. Final expenses will be shared in subsequent budget reports.

Members expressed concern that IRSA is a federation of regional members, and that IRSA needs clear communication between the Executive Committee and the member associations. Some argued that one member from each member society be identified as a point person for communication with the IRSA Executive Committee. Vanclay replied that according to the old Constitution, Council members from each member society representative were nominated for eight years. In the new Constitution, member society Council members serve four year terms with the possibility of reappointment for another four years if the member society believes that its representatives are doing a good job. In this process, the role of the Secretary/Treasurer is to facilitate communication. The work of the Executive Committee is done by e-mail; The primary objective of IRSA is to hold a World Congress every four years. An e-mail vote for the new Secretary/Treasurer will occur six months from now. He asked all Council members to think about potential U.S. candidates.

Vanclay then called for discussion of the next World Congress at Trondeim, Norway. He suggested that we hold the bid from Japan in reserve in case the Norway site does not become firm. He asked Almas what we should do to firm up the Trondeim bid. Almas replied that we need to consider an increase in the Conference fee in order to cover variable costs. One of the advantages of the Rio World Congress was contract with Congrex to provide for local arrangements. This is greatly preferable to having university staff/students do them. He expects to have between 500 and 900 participants with backup site if participant numbers exceed 1000. Bonanno asked if we had any indicators for the expected number of participants at Trondeim. Almas replied that this is very difficult to judge, and that continuous adjustments in numbers from each country will have to be made. He repeated the need to set the registration fee high enough to cover variable costs. Vanclay indicated that registration fees can be fixed in two ways: (1) set them low in anticipation of receiving sponsor donations, or (2) set them high to ensure that costs are covered, even with a low number of registrations. A worst case scenario would be 200 registrations; 500 registrations would be normal; and 700 registrations would be a high estimate. He reminded Council that the Rio World Congress had $150,000 in sponsorship support. He also expressed a concern about how to cover Hotel contract commitments. He noted that IRSA needs to provide a service to members, but that it is also in the business of putting on conferences. Members voiced concerns about the business approach. Several suggested that we take an organizational view and asked for time to discuss this topic. Others suggested that, if IRSA were to established high registration feeds, that it subsidize poorer country participants in order to increase their attendance.

Kovach predicted that Norway will have about 500 attendees. He reminded the Council that we are Trondeim is not Rio. Vanclay then asked for next steps regarding the Trondeim Bid. Almas responded that the Trondeim group will stay with the bid, but that it might raise fees by $50 in order to hire contract with an agency to assist with local arrangements. They will also seek funding to support travel by non-established scholars. Flights from Oslo to Trondeim cost about US$100. One excursion is included in the bid. He also mentioned that they expect outside financial support for the Congress. His institution is fully supportive of the bid and confident. It will prepare a “stepped” model in order to handle unexpected large numbers of participants. Some suggested that IRSA should provide incentives for early registration, including clear identification of final submission dates for abstracts. Almas indicated that a cut off date for papers and giving additional time to those who register early are good ideas.

Vanclay noted that some have remarked that fee differences between registrants from OECD and non-OECD nations are unfair. Mexico and Poland are in the OECD and must, therefore, pay higher fees, but this was deemed inappropriate. He noted that IRSA needs to identify a classification consistent with national incomes, like that used by the International Sociological Association. Vanclay then called for a motion to identify an alternative to the OECD/non-OECD classification for registration fee structure. Bonanno so moved and Pineiro seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Vanclay then noted that the Program Chair is appointed by the IRSA Council, but that bids are more about the program than local arrangements. He proposes that IRSA ask bidders to nominate a Program Chair because of language and related reasons. Bonanno argued for that the program agenda should be considered independently of local arrangements. Vanclay responded that the success of a Conference depends on the ability of the Program Chair and the local arrangements representatives to work together, which is more than a language issue. Djurfeldt indicated that this would require a change in the bidding process since Norway only bid on local arrangements. He voiced a concern that linking program content with local arrangements might increase the risk of losing international scope. He suggested that maybe a Program Committee might resolve this problem.

Vanclay suggested that the Council consider Mark Shucksmith as the new Program Chair.
Tovey asks for clarification about who determines the Congress theme and the Program Chair.
Vanclay indicated that, according to the old Constitution, the President sets the Congress theme and picks the Program Chair; but that, according to the new Constitution, the Executive Committee will set the theme and pick the Program Chair. The Program Chair will subsequently identify the Congress theme and the Executive Committee will evaluate it. Bonanno noted that the Program Committee usually assists the Program Chair. He asked for clarification of the role of the Program Committee. The Program Committee should not be a token committee; rather responsibilities of the Program Chair and the Program Committee need to be clear and followed.

Vanclay commented that a selection process for the Program Committee and identification of its appropriate roles need to be included in the By-laws. He had anticipated that workshop and symposium coordinators would act as the Program Committee for the Rio World Congress, but he was informed that this was inappropriate. He noted that we should clarify the proper role of the Program Committee.

Levi commented that when number of workshops was increased from 10 to 44, the role of the workshop coordinators was necessarily usurped. He noted, however, that workshop coordinators should be kept in the loop. Vanclay replied that extension of the submission deadline and resulting large increase in papers negatively affected the original workshop design. Almas stated that the local arrangements committee at Trondheim will be prepared to handle late registrations.

Vanclay then asked for a nomination of Mark Shucksmith as the Norway Program Chair. He also expressed concerns about the Program Chair nomination process and the need to revise the By-laws. Tovey argued that it is better to have Program Chair with a passion for the theme. Vanclay indicated that all Council members should participate. He then asked Shucksmith to leave the room.

Vanclay argued that bids should be a package that includes proposed local arrangements and a recommendation for program chair. He again stressed that a critical factor for successful conferences is the ability of the Program Chair to work well with the local arrangements group. The division of labor between them needs to be clear. Tovey asks if whether the bid should just include the Program Chair or also the theme and details. Vanclay replied that the Norway bidders have time to think about who they might choose as Program Chair. Tovey argued that a theme should be a part of any future bid. Vanclay agreed that future bids should include Program Chair and Conference theme suggestions. Almas cautioned the Council be careful, indicating that it might be unrealistic to expect to expect bids to include recommendations for Program Chair and a program theme. Requiring them might limit the number of bids that come in to IRSA.

Vanclay asked again for the nomination of Shucksmith to be the Program Chair for the Trondeim proposal. Council members asked for more information about and from Shucksmith who was then invited back into the room. He was asked to tell the IRSA Council about himself and his vision for the proposed Trondheim World Congress.

Shucksmith indicated that he has been at the University of Aberdeen for nineteen years and that he is currently the Director of a Research Center. During the past ten years he has focused his research on social exclusion, inequality, poverty, endogenous rural development and capacity building/social capital, including the family farm and its sustainability. For the last three years he has been the director of a large project supported by the J. Roundtree Foundation. He indicated that he could only take on Program Chair responsibilities with the help of a Program Committee, in order to supplement his interpersonal networks. He indicated that the theme for the Congress would be related to his personal research foci.

Vanclay then asked Shucksmith to leave the room again. Sayuti motioned to approve Shucksmith as the Program Chair for the proposed Trondeim bid. Campbell seconded the motion which unanimously carried. Vanclay then invited Shucksmith back to talk more about the theme. He indicated a preference to focus on globalization and its consequences ala neo-liberal restructuring and the impact that they have on government regulation issues, new forms of government, forms of resistance to globalization, and processes of exclusion and inclusion.

Bonanno requested that dialogue be included as a focus. Djurfeldt recommended that the Council be involved in setting the theme and building the program through e-mail. Rew indicated that the theme is appropriate for the INDR group. Vanclay asked how the Program Chair is established. Bonanno replied that the Program Chair is a recognized entity who acts like a Prime Minister and appoints the Program Committee. He then called for dialogue between the Program Chair and the IRSA Council to select the Program Committee. Pineiro suggested that the Program Committee have at least one representative for each member society. Vanclay reported that the Program Committee for the Rio Congress was selected through a dialogic process between him and the local arrangements committee which was formed in response to emerging pressures. He indicated that the Program Chair needs people on the Program Committee that will work. Vanclay then asked for motion that the Program Chair nominate preferred members for the Program Committee and report the names to the IRSA Council/President who will deem if it has adequate representation. Tovey so motioned. It was seconded by Lockie and unanimously passed.

Almas argued for the same process to be used by for local arrangements, with the Local Arrangements Committee nominating a local Program Chair and submitting the nomination to IRSA Council for approval. Tovey so moved and Bonanno seconded. This motion also was unanimously approved.

Vanclay then asked for discussion of a long-term approach for bids. He asked if IRSA should be more proactive and suggested that IRSA might focus on a successful Japanese bid for 2008 and one from Africa in 2012.

He asked if IRSA has other important roles to play in addition to organizing the World Congress every four years. He asked if IRSA should initiate a journal, thus acting as a clearinghouse for rural sociological information. He asked Djurfeldt for his views on this topic. Djurfeldt reported that there would be problems associated with the creation of a journal, including its niche identification. He suggested that an IRSA journal might was to have a focus similar to that of the International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, but with more of a global thrust. He indicated that he would like to cultivate a small circle of supporters, including potential publishers, and to solicit their assistance in possibly initiating a new journal. Sayuti asked about the possibility of creating an electronic journal. Djurfeldt responded that this option would be both problematic and opportunistic.

Tovey reported about the financial standing of member societies. He indicated that only AON is current and asked representatives of the member societies to help get them current. Pineiro replied that ALASRU is current. Tovey indicated that she will check on the status of ESRS. Vanclay then asked for the minutes to reflect that ALASRU is current in its dues payments and to have the Secretary/Treasurer remedy this error. He asked Council for advice about RUM since it has not responded to IRSA about past dues payments. Annual member society dues are equivalents to $2/year for each of its individual members. He asked if IRSA should eliminate dues and seek to generate revenues from only from Conferences. He indicated that he supports some form a annual payment as a symbol of commitment and suggests that the IRSA Council think about the fee structure. He also noted that ARSA needs to formalize its links to IRSA, including payment of annual dues.

Vanclay closed the meeting at 18:13.

Prepared by Douglas H. Constance, Acting Secretary/Treasurer

General Assembly Minutes

Minutes from IRSA General Assembly Meeting
Hotel Gloria, Rio de Janeiro
August 2, 2000

President Molnar called the meeting to order at 18:35. He welcomed those in attendance and introduced representatives from the IRSA member societies. He indicated that since the Secretary/Treasurer, Al Luloff, was not present, there were no minutes from the last meeting of the General Assembly in Romania to be read.

President-elect Vanclay reported that 1521 registrations had been received for the Congress. He indicated the need for workshop coordinators to give more attention to time constraints because IRSA must pay for rooms by the hour. He asked that workshop summary forms be given to Congrex staff for final report preparation.

Tovey reported that some participants were concerned about the fees for all social events being charge separately rather than being included in the registration fee. Some attendees voiced concern about their limited budgets for the Congress and their ability to attend these events. Molnar replied that costs for many Conference activities were not included in the registration fee to keep it as low as possible. He noted that IRSA needs to better inform future Congress attendees about these decisions. He also mentioned that spare CD ROMs are available for 10 Brazilian Reales. Molnar announced that IRSA and the Conference organizers have granted permission for participants to copy any of them.

Program Chair Vanclay gave his report which emphasized (1) that translators had worked very hard and that IRSA is grateful to them; and (2) that costs for translations were very high, which limited the ability to provide this service. He thanked workshop coordinators for attending the training session which contributed to the success of the Conference. Tovey expressed concerns about how decisions were made about where to use translators. She noted that none were available in the Rural Women sessions. Vanclay explained that the plenary sessions and symposia had translators, but that workshops did not because of the lack of translators and funding. Tovey mentioned that symposia should have had representatives, thus ensuring that each major area of interest had been covered.

ARSA representatives recommended that Portuguese and English sessions not be integrated. Rather they argued that they might have been best held in separate rooms, since they were a waste of time for many because of language difficulties. Vanclay replied that a goal of the international conference was to mix the presentations and that workshop paper presenters were asked to hand out English and other language abstracts in the sessions.

Molnar gave the Treasurer’s Report. He reported a current balance of US$19,359. He noted that several regional associations were delinquent in paying membership dues payments, especially RUM. He further noted that this Congress had generated surplus revenues, although final numbers are not yet in.

Molnar asked for Vanclay to discuss proposed Constitutional revisions. Vanclay reported that a concern had been expressed about sexist language in the Constitution at the 1992 IRSA meeting at Penn State. Upon closer scrutiny, Council recognized that the Constitution was unworkable, because procedures were unclear. It recognized a need for a major overhaul. Council thus appointed a Task Force which held many meetings, which included discussions about the IRSA website. The final version of these revisions has been on the website for over a year with comments from IRSA Council members. The revised document was forwarded to IRSA members for comments six months ago. And IRSA Council approved the proposed changes to the Constitution at its meeting on Sunday, July 30. Changes include:

  • removal of sexist language;
  • internationalization of language;
  • voting by e-mail;
  • correction of logical ambiguities in language;
  • creation of logical flow;
  • discussion of procedures to meet quorums and membership proxy voting;
  • reduced terms of office from 8 to 4 years with the understanding that elected members are eligible to hold office for eight consecutive years if they receive continued support from member associations (done to create better liaison between regional representatives and the IRSA Executive Committee.
  • alteration of presidential terms among member associations each four years; and
  • transfer of much of the authority of the President to the IRSA Executive Committee and IRSA Council.

Vanclay further clarified that IRSA’s Council members had received these proposed changes to the Constitution several months prior to the World Congress and that they had unanimously approved them. Molnar asked for questions about the proposed changes. There being none, he asked for a motion to endorse the changes to the IRSA Constitution. Djurfeldt moved for adoption of the changes, and Tovey seconded. The motion was unanimously passed.

Molnar then expressed his thanks for the support he had received from the IRSA Council and for the hard work undertaken by the Council members. He then asked if there was any new business. He recognized Arch Haller, who noted that despite IRSA being 25 years old, that it still has continuity problems for several reasons. First, he noted that IRSA was created by FAO in the late 1960’s. Alvaro Chaparro, PhD from Penn State, was then an FAO officer in Rome. He and FAO wanted to establish an international rural sociological association, but needed at least three regional associations to do so. At the time, only RSS and ESRS existed. ALASRU was created to make it possible. IRSA was created in 1972 at the University of Sao Paulo, and its first President was Jose Pastore. Haller recommended that Council reestablish relations with FAO in order to facilitate institutional continuity. Second, he suggested that Council consider identifying an Historian for IRSA to promote long-term continuity and service to the Council.

Molnar then gave his president’s report. He highlighted the ARSA edited compilation of papers from its 1999 Conference. He then commented on the large amount of work that was done over the past four years, noting that this effort was greatly facilitated by e-mail. It greatly facilitated communication flow and fostered more connectivity among members. He also highlighted the new website which acts as a central node for rural scholars. IRSA outputs are the World Congress, which is held every four years, the website, and a journal/periodic review, similar to the Journal of Economic Literature, which is being considered. He noted that Vanclay will appoint a Task Force to look into the creation of an IRSA journal. He presented Vanclay as the new IRSA President, Bonanno as the First Vice-President, and Kovach as the Second Vice-President. He then thanked everyone for their valuable contributions to IRSA during the past four years.

Antmann thanked Molnar for the leadership he has given to IRSA during this period. Vanclay then provided an outline of potential priority topics to be addressed during the coming four years. He emphasized the following points:

  • IRSA is a membership association designed to build links, and it needs to focus on the World Congress in 2004 in order to be successful.
  • IRSA needs transparent administrative and site selection processes.
  • IRSA needs to constantly review its Constitution in order to keep it current and it needs to constantly review its By-laws to be sure that they are compatible with the Constitution.
  • IRSA needs to address its history on its website and to consider creation of the office of Historian.
  • IRSA needs to work on rebuilding the links with FAO.
  • IRSA needs to consider a possible new role for itself as a clearinghouse for international rural sociology information, thus extending its utility beyond that of a member association.
  • IRSA needs to establish clear procedures for selecting World Congress sites (He mentioned that two bids had been received for the 2004 World Congress Ð from Kyoto, Japan and from Trondheim, Norway Ð and that the bid from Trondheim had been accepted, but with the bid from Kyoto being maintained in the event that other not work out. He proposed that IRSA work with ARSA to enable them to host the World Congress in 2008. IRSA cannot guarantee this to happen, but it can increase the probabilities of it happening.
  • IRSA needs to continue to work with a possible member association in Africa. CODESRIA Ð Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. IRSA will work with CODESRIA to build African membership.
  • IRSA needs to have a twelve year planning horizon.

Molnar called for any questions for Vanclay. Tovey asked about connections with the International Sociological Association that might facilitate the work of IRSA. Molnar responded that this is an excellent point, but that there are many different international sociology associations that might be considered in the same light.

Molnar formally closed the meeting at 19:35

Submitted by Douglas Constance, Acting Secretary.

Members present at IRSA General Assembly.




Monica Bendini

Universidad Nacional de Comahue


Cathy Kassab

By the Numbers, U.S.


Carlos Antmann

Universidad Autonoma de Chile


Archibald Haller

University of Wisconsin, U.S.


Josefa S. Cavalcante

Federal University of Pernambuco, Brasil


Jiwoong Cheong

Seoul National University, Korea


Chija Kim Cheong

Seoul National University, Korea


Erland Eklund

University of Helsinki, Finland


Reidar Almas

Centre for Rural Research, Norway


Anita Brumer

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Alan Hall

University of Windsor, Canada


Kryztof Gorlach

Jagiellonion University, Poland


Hugh Campbell

University of Otago, New Zealand


Stewart Lockie

Central Queensland University, Australia


Mark Shucksmith

University of Aberdeen, Scotland


Rosiady Sayuti

Matarum University, Indonesia


Atsushi Kitahara

Nagoya University, Japan


Guiging Shi

NRCR, Hubei University, China


Imre Kovach

Institute for Political Science, Hungary


Hilary Tovey

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland


Bernardino Mata

Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo, Mexico


Goran Djurfeldt

University of Lund, Sweden


Douglas Constance

Sam Houston State University, U.S.


Joseph Molnar

Auburn University, U.S.


Frank Vanclay

Charles Sturt University, Australia


Council Meeting Minutes July 30, 2000


Joseph Molnar (President);
Frank Vanclay (Vice President);

Atsushi Kitahara (ARSA);
Carlos Antmann (ALASRU);

Monica Bendini (ALASRU);
Alessandro Bonanno (RSS);

Cathy Kassab (RSS);
Goran Djurfeldt (ESRS);

Imre Kovach (ESRS);
Hilary Tovey (ESRS);

Stewart Lockie (AON);
Geoffrey Lawrence (AON)

Prior to the meeting Bonanno (RSS) was asked to serve as secretary for this meeting.

IRSA President Molnar called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m. He opened the meeting and asked Council members to introduce themselves. Joe Molnar indicated that the IRSA Secretary/Treasurer, Al Luloff, will not be attending the Congress due to flight complications.

Local arrangements co-chair, Sonia Bermagasco, discussed the format of the Congress and its organization. Christina Castello of Congrex presented a detailed analysis of the manner in which the Congress will take place. Bergamasco reported that 1,780 abstracts were received, but that the actual number of papers that will be read is higher, because some invited speakers did not provide abstracts. As of July 28, 2000, 1,070 people had registered. An additional 200 participants are expected to register. Of those registered, 655 are from South America, 139 are from North America, 144 are from Europe; 66 are from Asia, 20 are from Africa; and 24 are from Oceania. The total budget for the Congress is $288,560. The Congress received $41,000 from Brazilian authorities; $122,077 were collected through registrations; and an additional $80,000 was received from other organizations. Additional contributions totaling $24,000 are also expected. All participants must register as decided at the Planning Committee meeting held in April, 1999. A financial surplus is expected. Financial support from agencies was used to pay plenary session speakers, symposia organizers, and several symposia speakers.

Leonilde Servolo reported on the abstract selection process. It was impossible to involve session organizers in the selection process because most abstracts (>1,000) were submitted during the last three days before the deadline. Only 250 abstracts had been received prior to that period. Servolo reported that selection was done by a local committee consisting of Gian Mario Giuliani, Sonia Regina Mendoza, and herself.

Questions were raised about the Congress program. Bergamasco answered that cuts had to be made because of budget problems. She noted that the restructured program is difficult to read, but should be manageable. Vanclay reported on the activities of the Program Committee and the steps taken to organize the Conference.

Molnar presented the Secretary/Treasurer report. He introduced the newly elected IRSA officers: (1) Frank Vanclay (President); Alessandro Bonnano (First Vice-President); Imre Kovach (Second Vice-President). Molnar stated that forty-eight bid applications for the next World Congress were sent out. Only two were received — one from Norway (Center for Rural Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Trondheim) and one from Japan (Ryukoku University, Kyoto). Molnar suggested that the new Council should make the final site selection.

Vanclay indicated that the Council should identify criteria for World Congress site selection, local arrangement committee and program committee. Several criteria for the site selection were identified, including:

  • Geopolitical balance;
  • Financial soundness (subsidies, institutional support; size and type of risks);
  • Rurality of location;
  • Transport accessibility;
  • Field trips;
  • Need-based support;
  • Quality of local academic programs;
  • Potential impact on the discipline;
  • Tourism appeal;
  • Personal safety; and
  • Commitment of local organizers.

Kitahara commented that Kyoto fits all of these criteria. However, there are some problems concerning costs and transport. Cost will be higher than normal and it is difficult to reach Kyoto. Vanclay stated that there might be a constitutional problem with Japan’s bid as ARSA has not paid its IRSA dues. Vanclay called for a straw vote on the two bids. The motion was seconded by Antmann and the Council voted in favor of the Norwegian bid.

Vanclay reported on the work of the Constitutional Revision Task Force. He noted that the proposed changes were the product of a long process. Changes included the elimination of sexist language, modifications which allow the use of new technological developments, and greater definition of the role and duties of the Secretary/Treasurer. He also indicated that a draft of the proposed changes was sent to member associations, and that member association representatives voted on these changes by e-mail. The revised Constitution will be submitted to the IRSA General Assembly for approval.

Molnar then gave his President’s report. He discussed the IRSA web site that was developed, noting that it resulted in the faster distribution of information. He also encouraged the new Council to work on further improvements of it. He suggested that the position of Secretary/Treasurer be placed in the By-laws. He noted that Al Luloff would take all necessary steps to make the transition to the new Secretary/Treasurer as smooth as possible. IRSA does not currently have a Secretary/Treasurer. Molnar further noted that IRSA should think about expanding its role. He mentioned the creation of a journal an one important option to consider in this regard. He requested and Djurfeldt agreed to explore the possibility of creating such a journal.

Representatives from member organizations then reported on activities of their respective entities. Antmann reported out for ALASRU. He stated that Diego Pineiro was elected President of ALASRU and that the association has between 100 and 200 members. Additionally, it was reported that ALASRU stopped publication of its journal, but that it has published several edited books. The next ALASRU Congress will be held in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 2002.

Lawrence reported for AON. AON has a virtual network of about 150 members and a journal, Rural Society, which is growing. AON will be actively involved in the organization of the ISA World Congress of Sociology to be held in Brisbane, Australia in 2000.

Kovach reported on activities of ESRS. ESRS held its regional Conference in Lund, Sweden in 1999. Its next Conference will take place in Dijon, France in 2001. Hilary Tovey is ESRS’s new President. And ESRS has established a new summer school for rural sociologists in Finland.

Bonanno reported for RSS. The RSS maintains its members at about 1,000 members. It organizes annual meetings, which are attended by about 500 participants. It continues to publish its journal, Rural Sociology. The new President of RSS is David Brown, Cornell University.

Kitahara then discussed activities of ARSA. ARSA organized its first Congress in Thailand in February, 1999. The proceeding from the Congress will be published at the beginning of 2001. The association does not have a membership system yet.

Molnar mentioned that a network of African associations, CODESRIA, has the potential to become the next IRSA member.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Alessandro Bonnano.

The Establishment of the International Rural Sociology Association

The Establishment of the International Rural Sociology Association:
A Brief Account

Glenn V. Fuguitt and Alvin L. Bertrand
January 25, 1999

The International Rural Sociology Association (IRSA) was an outgrowth of the desire for greater international cooperation on the part of the members of the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) and the members of the Rural Sociological Society (RSS). The RSS was organized in 1936 and the ESRS in 1957. Formal expression of the need for an international professional association was first voiced at the 1962 annual meeting of the RSS in Washington, D.C. At that time a committee including representatives from the RSS and ESRS was established to develop the “international machinery” for planning a multi-national conference on rural sociology. The committee was named The Committee for International Cooperation in Rural Sociology. Its first members were E. W. Hofstee of the Netherlands (as chair), O. F. Larson of the U. S. (as vice-chairman), H. Kotter of the Federal Republic of Germany, H. E. Bracey of Great Britain, H. Kaufman and R. A. Polson of the U. S. It was understood, from the discussions and deliberations which preceded the establishment of the committee, that a permanent organization would be considered after the first conference (or congress), had been held.

The Committee for International Cooperation in Rural Sociology wasted no time in planning an international congress, and it was decided to hold a congress in 1964. An invitation from M. Cepede to meet in Dijon, France was accepted and he was put in charge of making the arrangements for the congress. At the time of the Dijon congress plans were made for a second congress. E. W. Hofstee’s invitation to hold the congress in Enschede, The Netherlands in 1968 was accepted and he was given the responsibility for planning and making the arrangements. The Committee for International Cooperation in Rural Sociology provided the leadership for program planning. The RSS representation on the Committee was changed in 1964, when President Lee Coleman appointed Al Bertrand, Paul Jehlik, and Harry Schwarzweller to replace the original RSS appointees.

During the time of the second world congress tentative plans were made for a third world congress. An invitation to host the congress was extended by the U. S. delegation. Members of the committee voted to accept the invitation and to elect Al Bertrand chair of the committee. Subsequently, the RSS voted to hold the third congress in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with Al Bertrand in charge of local arrangements.

At the time of the second world congress (1968) preliminary discussions for the formation of an international body were also initiated. Shortly after this meeting, in 1969, the Latin American Rural Sociological Association (ALASRU) was formed. The officers of the Association were immediately asked to nominate representatives to serve on The Committee for International Cooperation in Rural Sociology. The committee held its next meeting at the time of the 1970 meeting of ESRS, in Munster, Germany. At this meeting there was an extended discussion of the constitutional requirements for an international association. The discussion was concluded with the appointment of a Preparatory Committee to complete the negotiations re the content of a constitution and to take other necessary steps for the formation of an International Rural Sociological Association. Members of the Preparatory Committee included the presidents of the three existent regional societies: Odd Grande from Norway (ESRS), Glenn Fuguitt from the U.S. (RSS), and Jose Pastore from Brazil (ALASRU). No chair was appointed, but Glenn Fuguitt agreed to serve as secretary. The agreement reached was that once a draft constitution was worked out by the Preparatory Committee, it would have to be ratified by each of the regional societies. At the meeting of the third world congress in Baton Rouge, it was decided to invite representatives from regions of the world where no professional association existed to serve on the Preparatory Committee. The individuals selected were: Bruce Crouch from Australia (representing Oceania), Gelia Castillo from the Phillippines (representing Asia), and E. B. E. Ndem from Zambia (representing Africa). The ESRS representation on the committee was changed from Odd Grande of Norway to Gwyn Jones from Great Britain in 1974.

Following the 1972 third world congress, the Committee for Cooperation ceased to exist, and planning responsibility for the fourth world congress was assumed by the Preparatory Committee, plus Al Bertrand, who served as a liaison from the previous Committee for Cooperation. The fourth congress was held in Torun, Poland, in August 1976.

During the period up to the fourth congress, the Preparatory Committee negotiated and submitted a draft constitution that was ratified by all three regional societies (ALASRU, ESRS and RSS) by early 1976. Procedures were included in the constitution for nominating and electing members to an IRSA Council. Each regional society was given autonomy to elect their representatives on the Council and a mail balloting process was worked out for Africa, Asia, and Oceania. A Council was duly elected by March 1976. The first action of the Council, in keeping with the mandates of the constitution, was the election of officers. This mail-ballot election was completed by August 1976, so that the officers elected were installed at the Fourth World Congress in Torun.. They were Glenn Fuguitt of the U. S. (President), Boguslaw Galeski of Poland (First Vice President), Jose Pastore of Brazil (Second Vice President), and Thomas Ford of the U. S. (Secretary). An executive committee was appointed which included Council members Gelia Castillo of the Phillipines, Bruce Crouch of Australia, and Cuthbert Omari of Tanzania as well as the officers. Other duly elected members of the Council included Al Bertrand of the U. S., Gwyn Jones of Great Britain, Herbert Kotter of Germany, Tetsuo Ninomiya of Japan, Jorge Ochoa of Argentina, Rudolpho Stavenhagen of Mexico, and Salah Yacoub of Lebanon.

To summarize, the precursor to the International Rural Sociology Association was the Committee for International Cooperation in Rural Sociology, which organized the first three world congresses. Formed in 1962, it was disbanded in 1972 and the fourth world congress was organized by the Preparatory Committee (1972-1976) which was established to set up the new organization. Following acceptance of the constitution by the three regional rural sociology societies in early 1976, elections for the council and officers were held and the first officers assumed their duties at the Fourth World Congress in Torun, Poland. Consequently the International Rural Sociology Association was established in August 1976. It serves an historical purpose to list the date, place, program chairs, and local arrangement chair for the first five international meetings of rural sociologists. The fifth congress was the first to be organized by the International Rural Sociology Association:

First World Congress for Rural Sociology
Date: August 16-20, 1964
Place: Dijon, France
Program Chair: E. W. Hofstee, The Netherlands
Local Arrangements Chair: M. Cepede, France

Second World Congress for Rural Sociology
Date: August 5-10, 1968
Place: Enschede, The Netherlands
Program Chair: E. W. Hofstee, The Netherlands
Local Arrangements Chair: A. K. Constandse, The Netherlands

Third World Congress for Rural Sociology
Date: August 22-27, 1972
Place: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Program Chair: A. L. Bertrand, USA
Local Arrangements Chair: A. L. Bertrand, USA

Fourth World Congress for Rural Sociology
Date: August 9-13, 1976
Place: Torun, Poland
Program Chair: Glenn Fuguitt, USA
Local Arrangements Chair: Boguslaw Galeski, Poland

Fifth World Congress for Rural Sociology
Date: August 7-12, 1980
Place: Mexico City, Mexico
Program Chair: Jose Pastore, Brazil
Local Arrangements: Gustavo Esteva and Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Mexico.



The objectives of the Association are to: foster the development of rural sociology; further the application of sociological inquiry to the improvement of the quality of rural life; and provide a mechanism whereby rural sociologists can generate dialogue and useful exchange.