Research Committee on 
Social Movements, Collective Action
and Social Change RC48



The purpose of the existence of the RC 48 is to foster intellectual, academic and scholarly exchanges between researchers of broadly defined social movements, social change and collective action.

All scholars in the social sciences, irrespective of their particular field are free to join the RC 48 if they express the interest in social movements research and if they have done, or they intend to do such research, writing or scholarship.

The RC 48 recognizes the fact that contemporary social movements become a significant vehicle of social change and that they are the component of various collective endeavors, including protest politics, social struggles, class actions, union organizations, uprisings, rebellions, revolutions and revolts.

The RC's purpose is to allow, to facilitate and to enhance exchange of information and fostering of research initiatives in the areas of the cognitive activity of its intellectual constituency.

The RC 48 recognizes the fact that social movement research is done from various theoretical, methodological and epistemological premises. As long as they are free of political underpinnings that could undermine the unrestrained and free nature of academic exchanges, all such perspectives will be afforded equal treatment and representation.

The RC 48 shall welcome historical and comparative analyses of social change, social movements and of various episodes of collective action all over the world. Research on social movements and social change in the countries and regions where no such previous traditions are established shall be actively encouraged and promoted as a part of the RC 48 policy.

The Executive Board of the RC 48 shall be obliged to seek to interface with similar groups of scholars and associations of researchers in order to further the state of the research and theory.


1. The Research Committee 48 (later to be referred to as RC 48) SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, SOCIAL CHANGE AND COLLECTIVE ACTION is an international association founded in 1987 to provide a forum for promoting research and communication among scholars of social movements and social change. The RC had its origins in a network of researchers who have been gathering, in infrequent intervals, at the occasion of various professional meetings. It has organized the First European Conference on Social Movements in Berlin in 1991. It has existed as a working group of ISA until the World Congress in Bielefeld when the group has been given the full RC status. The Research Committee shall carry out the policy of the Association and shall enhance international cooperation in theoretical and empirical research in accordance with its mission statement.

2. The RC 48 consists of individual members in good standing with the ISA in accordance with Paragraph 2, Article 4 of the Statutes of ISA. The RC 48 guarantees full participation of all members. RC 48 recognizes two different types of membership: (1) full membership (individuals who are ISA paying members) (2) associate membership (individuals who currently are not ISA paying members, but pay dues to the RC 48). The RC 48 shall actively seek to collaborate with other international associations and with national professional associations to identify intellectual constituencies whose interest is relevant to the field of RC 48 research. Members of such associations and organizations will be afforded associate status in RC 48 should they elect not to join the ISA. Such members can freely participate in all academic and research activities sponsored by the RC 48, granted they meet particular criteria established for each such event by the RC 48 Executive Board. No associate member will be allowed to vote on the Executive Board.

3. The RC 48 shall cover a large area of social movement research in accordance with its mission statement. RC 48 will allow sub-committees, termed in accordance with ISA Statutes, to function autonomously within its structure, granted they recognize the RC 48 Statutes. Should such sub-committees be created, their Chairpersons will serve as vice-presidents of the RC 48 ex officio.

4. The RC 48 shall have the following structure: as of August 1998 the Board will consist of the following nine positions: President, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, 6 (six) slots for regional liaisons. Editor of the RC Newsletter. The Board Members are subjected to the following term limits: The President and Secretary shall serve no longer than two consecutive terms (eight years). Outgoing President and Secretary shall remain on the Board ex officio for the next term to ensure continuous operation of the RC. Each member of the RC 48 Board shall be a regular member of the ISA.

5. The Elections to the RC 48 Board are to be governed by the following regulations:
- only full members have the right to vote
- voting is by official ballot only
- by October 31 of the year preceding the World Congress the Board shall solicit names of the candidates (nomination and self-nomination) willing to stand for the election
- the Newsletter will publish the Ballot by March 31 of the year of the Congress
- two forms of vote are recognized: vote by mail or bring in
- voting by mail (ballot has to be sealed in an envelope that is signed and contains the legible name of the full member), ballots to be sent to the RC Executive Secretary by June 1 (postmark deadline) of the year of the Congress
- RC 48 full members attending me regular business meeting who have not voted by mail can bring me ballot and vote during the meeting ballots that are not signed or that do not show legible name of the voting member are considered invalid
- the Board shall nominate an ad hoc election committee to verify ballots received (in particular to avoid double vote or vote by associate members), to eliminate the invalid ballots and to count votes
- there is no minimum or maximum number of names on the ballot it can also contain a write-in name
- new Board shall conduct its first executive meeting at the Congress to constitute itself and to determine the President and the Executive Secretary-Treasurer.

6. All other relevant articles of the ISA Statutes apply to the RC 48 Statutes and take the precedence over the latter.

(written and submitted by Bronislaw Misztal and adopted by the RC 48 Board on Tuesday, June 20,1995 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Posted at June 2, 2003
International Sociological Association