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International Political Science Association
HeadquartersMontreal,  Canada
Region served
Official language
English, French
Marianne Kneuer  Germany
Parent organization
International Social Science Council (ISSC)
WebsiteIPSA Official website

The International Political Science Association (IPSA), founded under the auspices of UNESCO in 1949, is an international scholarly association. IPSA is devoted to the advancement of political science in all parts of the world. During its history[1] it has helped build bridges between East and West, North and South, and has promoted collaboration between scholars in both established and emerging democracies. Its aim is to create a global political science community in which all can participate, most recently it has been extending its reach in Eastern Europe and Latin America. IPSA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Council (UNESCO) and it is a member of the International Social Science Council and of the Global Development Network.


Since its beginning, national political science associations have constituted its core. Its founder members included American, Canadian, French and Indian political science associations. By 1960, 24 more national associations had joined up. Since then, collective membership has been expanding at a steady pace. Today, 54 national associations[2] are collective members of IPSA. Each collective member is represented on IPSA's central governing organ, the council. The council lays down broad policy guidelines for the association and elects the executive committee, which is responsible for the conduct of IPSA's affairs between congresses.

Individual and associate membership was introduced in the early 1950s. Starting with 52 members in 1952, IPSA's individual membership now stands at more than 3,400 members. The association has worked hard to increase the involvement of women, who now make up more than a third of the membership. Associate membership is open to institutions engaged in research or teaching in the area of political science and is hovering at around 110 institutions worldwide.


The special mandate of IPSA, expressed in its Constitution, is to support the development of political science in all parts of the world, building academic networks linking East and West, North and South. Its aim is to create an inclusive and global political science community in which all can participate. It seeks to promote collaboration between scholars in emerging and established democracies and to support the academic freedoms needed for the social sciences to flourish.

The activities and policies of IPSA reflect its global mission. It has been highly successful in the encouragement of national political science associations and today there are over 50 such associations affiliated with IPSA. IPSA has maintained its links with the United Nations and has supported the development of other international and regional political science organizations.

IPSA World Congresses of Political Science are now held every second year, moving between continents. The participation of scholars from less developed countries is supported through travel grants and the Global South Solidarity Fund. IPSA's research committees offer opportunities for political scientists working in particular sub-fields of the discipline to associate with colleagues from around the world. Organizing events between World Congresses and playing a major role in these Congresses, the research committees encourage the worldwide pooling of skills and resources by working both together and in conjunction with specialist sub-groups of national associations.

IPSA publications, including the lead journal International Political Science Review, the International Political Science Abstracts, World Political Science, Participation, and the IPSA Portal, also seek to meet the needs of political scientists in different parts of the world. As part of IPSA's global mission to support and promote political science, it now conducts summer schools in research methods across the globe, for example, in South America and South Africa.

IPSA strives to ensure balanced representation in terms of region, gender and stage of career in all its activities – for example, the creation of a new research committee must be supported by political scientists from at least seven countries and two continents. Conference panels and roundtables are expected to display similar diversity, with representation from more than one continent and at least four countries.

By linking scholars from North and South as well as East and West, IPSA seeks to strengthen the networks that underpin a global political science community. Such linkages put political science in a stronger position to contribute to the quality of public deliberation and decision-making as well as to the understanding of an increasingly interconnected political world. Ultimately, IPSA supports the role of political science in empowering men and women to participate more effectively in political life, whether within or beyond the states in which they live.

Academic activities

IPSA's academic activities fall under three main headings: 1) organizing biennial world congresses as well as regular events between congresses; 2) promoting research in political science, notably through a wide-reaching network of research committees (RCs); and 3) disseminating research and information through a range of publications. IPSA's principal academic activity is the biennial congress. Starting in 1950 and 1952, world congresses have since been taking place every three years. From small beginnings, they have developed into major international scientific occasions, typically attracting about 2000 participants. As of 2012, world congresses are held every other year. In addition to these major events, IPSA sponsors other types of scholarly meetings such as conferences, roundtables and workshops.

Since the 1970s, one of the most dynamic areas of growth within IPSA has been the activity of its RCs. In addition to organizing panels at the triennial congresses, RCs organize their own meetings between congresses, publish newsletters and issue other publications. IPSA now has 49 active RCs with interests ranging from political finance to gender and language politics and comparative democratization.

List of Research Committees

Summer schools

IPSA offers summer schools in São Paulo, Brazil (since 2010), Stellenbosch, South Africa (2011-2013), Singapore (since 2012), Ankara, Turkey (since 2013), and Mexico (since 2016). IPSA summer schools are intended to give social sciences scholars access to high-quality advanced training in qualitative and quantitative social science and political science research methods.


IPSA's extensive publishing program has included International Political Science Abstracts (IPSA) (1951–present);[3] International Political Science Review (1980–present)[4] and the bulletin of the association, Participation.(1977–). More recently, IPSA has offered an online publication, IPSAPortal, which provides ratings and links for the top 300 web sites for political science worldwide. Finally, IPSA offers a monthly information email called Newsletter. Since 2014, IPSA also publishes World Political Science, in collaboration with De Gruyter.


The association awards various scholarly awards to leading scholars in the field, including the Karl Deutsch Award.

List of World Congresses and Presidents

World Congresses and Presidents[5]
Nr. IPSA Location President From
25. IPSA 2018 Brisbane  Australia 2018–2020 Marianne Kneuer University of Hildesheim  Germany
24. IPSA 2016 Poznań  Poland 2016–2018 İlter Turan Istanbul Bilgi University  Turkey
23. IPSA 2014 Montréal  Canada 2014–2016 Aiji Tanaka Waseda University  Japan
22. IPSA 2012 Madrid  Spain 2012–2014 Helen Milner Princeton University  United States
21. IPSA 2009 Santiago  Chile 2009–2012 Leonardo Morlino University of Florence  Italy
20. IPSA 2006 Fukuoka  Japan 2006–2009 Lourdes Sola University of São Paulo  Brazil
19. IPSA 2003 Durban  South Africa 2003–2006 Max Kaase International University of Bremen  Germany
18. IPSA 2000 Quebec  Canada 2000–2003 Dalchoong Kim Yonsei University  South Korea
17. IPSA 1997 Seoul  South Korea 1997–2000 Theodore J. Lowi Cornell University  United States
16. IPSA 1994 Berlin  Germany 1994–1997 Jean Leca Sciences Po (FNSP), Paris  France
15. IPSA 1991 Buenos Aires  Argentina 1991–1994 Carole Pateman UCLA, Los Angeles  United States
14. IPSA 1988 Washington, D.C.  United States 1988–1991 Guillermo O'Donnell CEBRAP, São Paulo/Notre Dame  Brazil
13. IPSA 1985 Paris  France 1985–1988 Kinhide Mushakoji UN University, Tokyo  Japan
12. IPSA 1982 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1982–1985 Klaus von Beyme University of Heidelberg  Germany
11. IPSA 1979 Moscow  Soviet Union 1979–1982 Candido Mendes SBI, Rio de Janeiro  Brazil
10. IPSA 1976 Edinburgh  Scotland 1976–1979 Karl Deutsch Harvard University  United States
9. IPSA 1973 Montréal  Canada 1973–1976 Jean Laponce University of British Columbia  Canada
8. IPSA 1970 Munich  Germany 1970–1973 Stein Rokkan University of Bergen  Norway
7. IPSA 1967 Brussels  Belgium 1967–1970 Carl Joachim Friedrich Harvard University  United States
6. IPSA 1964 Geneva   Switzerland 1964–1967 Jacques Freymond IUHEI, Geneva   Switzerland
5. IPSA 1961 Paris  France 1961–1964 Norman Chester Nuffield College, Oxford  United Kingdom
4. IPSA 1958 Rome  Italy 1958–1961 Jacques Chapsal FNSP, Paris  France
3. IPSA 1955 Stockholm  Sweden 1955–1958 James K. Pollock University of Michigan  United States
2. IPSA 1952 The Hague  Netherlands 1952–1955 William A. Robson London School of Economics  Great Britain
1. IPSA 1950 Zurich   Switzerland 1949–1952 Quincy Wright University of Chicago  United States
B Paris  France

IPSA Secretaries General


  1. ^ Boncourt, Thibaud. A History of the International Political Science Association. International Political Science Association: Montréal, 2009.
  2. ^ List of IPSA Collective Members
  3. ^ International Political Science Abstracts
  4. ^ International Political Science Review
  5. ^ Events – Past IPSA World Congresses of Political Science. Retrieved 07/07/2015.