The proposed Statutes were distributed to and revised
by the Executive Board of the Mental Health and Illness Research
Committee prior to the ISA's XIIIth World Congress of Sociology.
The final proposed Statutes were then presented for discussion and
proposed revisions were unanimously approved by participating members
at the Research Committee business meeting at the World Congress
in Bielefeld, Germany, in July 1994. The revised final Statutes
will become effective
upon mail approval by the Research Committee Executive Board. The
language of this Introduction will be amended as needed to remain
ARTICLE ONE: PURPOSES
1.1 The Mental Health and Illness Research Committee
(hereafter called the Research Committee) is a non-profit constituent
body of the International Association of Sociology (ISA) as defined
by Article Four of the Statutes of the ISA. The Research Committee
provides a structure for scholarly disquisition and research collaboration
at the international level. The Research Committee does not endorse
a particular definition of mental health and illness. Rather, the
term is meant to be inclusive, ranging from serious psychiatric
disorders to subjective feelings of well-being.
1.2 Research and teaching relevant to the Research
Committee include all research and theories pertaining to the distribution
of psychiatric and substance use disorders and problems among various
population groups social and cultural factors associated with psychiatric
and substance use disorders behaviors or actions taken by groups
to maintain, enhance, or restore mental health or cope with mental
illness, substance use disorders or resulting disability mental
health professionals and the organization, finance, and delivery
of mental health care services psychiatric and mental health practice
as a social and cultural institution related to other institutions
people's attitudes and beliefs, and social representations concerning
mental health and illness, substance use and abuse, disability,
and mental health care providers and organizations and cultural
values and responses with respect to mental health and illness,
substance use and abuse, and disability.
ARTICLE TWO: OBJECTIVES
2.1 As the only international organization of mental
health and illness research officially recognized for sociologists,
the Research Committee strives to include scholars from as many
countries of the world as possible, and with backgrounds and philosophies
that reflect the diversity of the field of mental health and illness.
2.2 To achieve the ends described here, the Research
(a) to develop and maintain collaborative contacts between scholars
involved in the research and teaching in the field of mental health
and illness, and substance use and abuse
(b) to facilitate the international dissemination and exchange of
information on significant development in the sociocultural research
in mental health and illness and related areas
(c) to facilitate and promote international meetings and research
in the field of mental health and illness, and substance use and
(d) to increase the level of activities in under-represented countries
and regions of the world through the Research Committee and its
ARTICLE THREE: MEMBERSHIP
3.1 The Research Committee consists of an Executive
Board, an Advisory Board, and individual members. The membership
of the Research Committee is open to any scholar who is involved
in research or teaching in mental health and illness and related
areas as defined in Article 1.2, and who is accepted by the Executive
Board. All Research Committee regular members in good standing share
the same voting rights.
3.2 Regular members are those who have paid full Research
Committee membership fees, unless granted an exempt status by the
3.3 Student members are those members enrolled as
full-time students or trainees in an academic institution. Student
membership fees are discounted at an amount determined by the Executive
3.4 Associate members comprise a transitional category
of membership for those who do not fall into the category of members
in good standing described in Article 3.5. Associate members will
be expected to be current with fee obligations within a specified
grace period. This membership status will lapse at the end of the
3.5 Members in good-standing are those members who
have paid their Research Committee fees for a minimum duration of
four consecutive years. A member in good standing who fails to pay
his/her Research Committee fees shall become an associate member
as described in Article 3.4, unless granted an exempt status by
the Executive Board.
3.6 Honorary membership is automatically given to
Advisory Board members at the time of their election. Other individuals
also may be granted honorary membership status by the Executive
Board. The duration of honorary membership for Advisory Board members
extends through their terms for others the duration will be set
by the Executive Boards on an individual basis. Honorary members
are not voting members of the Research Committee.
3.7 All fees are set by the Executive Board and are
maintained for four years between quadrennial congresses of the
ISA. Scholars unable to pay fees may be exempted by an approval
by the Executive Board, represented by the Treasurer/Secretary.
3.8 The Research Committee members except honorary
members are expected to become members of the ISA.
ARTICLE FOUR: EXECUTIVE BOARD
4.1 The Executive Board, consisting of Officers and
other Executive Board members, shall have the task of directing
and carrying out the organizational responsibilities and day-to-day
work of the Research Committee. All regular members are eligible
to be candidates for the Executive Board. All regular members are
eligible to vote in the election of the Executive Board.
(a) The Executive Board will have a minimum of eight members: President,
Past President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary/Treasurer, and other
Board members. Members of the Executive Board must be from at least
5 different countries.
(b) President. The President presides at Executive Board meetings
and Research Committee business meetings, oversees all operations
of the Boards and the Committees, and regularly communicates with
Board members and other Research Committee members about the Research
Committee's agenda and operations. The President serves on the Nominations
Committee and serves as the Program Chair of the Research Committee
at the ISA quadrennial congress. The President also serves as an
ISA Research Council member representing the Research Committee
and performs duties accordingly. The President may delegate selected
tasks and responsibilities to other Executive Board members at his/her
(c) Past President. The Past President regularly communicates with
the President to ensure continuity in the Research Committee's agenda
and operations, chairs the Nominations Committee, and serves on
the Advisory Board ex officio. [N.B. This office will be vacant
(d) Vice Presidents. One Vice President serves as Program Co-Chair
for the Research Committee at the ISA quadrennial congress, appoints
session organizers and organizes paper submissions into sessions.
The other Vice President initiates and coordinates interim conferences
with conference organizers and research sections with research section
chairs.The Vice Presidents monitor the agenda and operations of
the Research Committee in accordance with the Statutes.
(e) Secretary/Treasurer. The Secretary/Treasurer keeps minutes of
business meetings of the Research Committee, collects membership
fees and disburses funds with the approval of the Executive Board,
receives applications for membership, maintains and updates the
mailing list, and communicates a report of the Research Committee's
budget to Executive Committee members every two years.
(f) Other Board Members. Those Executive Board members not serving
as officers function as brokers between the President, Vice-President
and Secretary/Treasurer and members of the Research Committee in
the region s/he represents. Each member takes an active role in
the organization of the ISA quadrennial congress and other Research
Committee activities. Duties designated to the President or Vice
Presidents may be performed by other Executive Board members with
approval from the Board.
4.3 Elections. The Executive Board is elected during
or following the quadrennial ISA congress by participating regular
members the Research Committee and the ISA via a mailed ballot prepared
by the Nominations Committee. In order to be placed on the ballot,
a candidate must agree to run and agree to perform the functions
of the office.
4.4 Terms. Executive Board members serve for a term
of four years. They may be elected to two successive terms, provided
that at least a portion of the Executive Board is replaced every
four years. No Board members are allowed to serve over eight consecutive
years, unless unanimously approved by the Executive Board. Such
an approval is reserved for acting Board membership so that prolonged
vacancy is avoided.
4.5 Vacancies. Vacancies occurring on the Executive
Board are filled by appointment of the President with Executive
Board approval. In the event the office of the President becomes
vacant, the Executive Board shall elect an Interim President to
serve until the end of the term.
4.6 Resignation. Resignation of an Executive Board
member occurs when s/he is not able to fulfill the obligations of
ARTICLE FIVE: ADVISORY BOARD
5.1 Duties. Advisory Board members, comprising of
a minimum of five senior scholars from at least four different countries
and the Past President, ex officio. are consulted regularly between
ISA congresses on nominations, the Congress program, interim conferences,
publications, and other Research Committee activities.
5.2 Election. The Advisory Board of the Research Committee
is composed of a minimum of five senior scholars from at least four
different countries and the Past President of the Research Committee,
ex officio. The Advisory Board is nominated by the Nominations Committee
of the Executive Board. The Advisory Board is elected by the Executive
Board. Except for the Past President, no current member of the Executive
Board may serve on the Advisory Board.
5.3 The Advisory Board members are given an honorary
membership status at the time of election and are exempt from due
5.4 Term: Advisory Board members serve for a period
of four years, and may be elected successively.
ARTICLE SIX: COMMITTEES
6.1 Committees within the Mental Health and Illness
Research Committee are developed to fulfill specific functions of
the Research Committee that may not require continuous participation
for four years. In addition to ad hoc committees that may be voted
into being by the Executive Board, the Research Committee will maintain
two standing committees, the Nominations and the Publications committees.
6.2 Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee
consists of the President, who chairs the Committee, the Past President,
and two Executive Board members appointed by the President. The
Nominations Committee nominates candidates to serve as Executive
Board officers prior to the ISA quadrennial congress, prepares and
performs the election at or following the congress, and announces
the election results. The Nominations Committee also nominates an
ISA Research Council alternate from the members of the Executive
Board. Finally, the Nominations Committee nominates members of the
Advisory Board in coordination with other members of the Executive
6.3 Publications Committee. The Publications Committee
consists of either the President or a Vice-President and at least
two other members of the Executive Board. The Committee will select
one of its members to chair. The chair will function as Editor-in-Chief
of the Newsletter. The Publications Committee oversees operations
of the Research Committee's Newsletter, and coordinates publications
originating from the Research Committee's quadrennial congress,
interim conferences and workshops, and other scientific activities.
The Publications Committee also is responsible for completing amendments
to the Statutes as required.
ARTICLE SEVEN: MEETINGS
7.1 Meetings are major vehicles by which to promote
the Research Committee's objectives. Members' active participation
is strongly encouraged.
7.2 ISA World Congress of Sociology. The Research
Committee organizes sessions on mental health and illness at quadrennial
congresses of the ISA. The sessions include both scientific presentation
sessions and business meetings.
7.3 Interim Regional Conferences. Between ISA congresses,
the Research Committee organizes interim research conferences on
specific topics approved by the Executive Board. These interim conferences
should represent the varied research interests of members from as
many countries of the world as possible. Research sections may be
organized around specific interests of the Research Committee members,
or to establish working relationships between the Research Committee
and other associations. The interim conference program chair reports
a summary of the conference and submit conference proceedings, if
available, to the chair of the Publications Committee after the
7.4 Business meetings of the Research Committee will
be conducted in a manner consistent with Articles 3 through 5 of
the By-Laws of the ISA, except where these Statutes provide otherwise.
In procedural matters not described therein. Research Committee
meetings will follow Robert's Rules of Order at the discretion of
ARTICLE EIGHT: VOTING
8.1 All regular members both of the Research Committee
and the ISA are eligible to vote. Votes taken by the Research Committee
are decided by a simple majority of eligible participating members
who attend a meeting in which voting takes place, or respond to
a mailed ballot sent to all eligible members, except where otherwise
provided for in the Statutes.
8.2 General membership voting at a meeting will be
conducted by a show of hands, unless a motion among participating
members is passed to conduct a secret ballot for the particular
issue being decided.
8.3 Voting on Board issues, such as amendment ratification,
Advisory Board membership, and filling vacancies, will be permitted
by telephone or by mail for those Executive Board members unable
to attend a meeting. However, the President may set a limit on the
amount of time that may elapse before a vote is considered final.
ARTICLE NINE: AMENDMENTS
TO THE STATUTES
9.1 A proposed amendment to the Statutes of the Research
Committee is initiated by a majority approval of the Executive Board.
9.2 Proposed amendments are discussed at a Research
Committee business meeting during the quadrennial ISA congress,
and a draft is passed by a two-thirds majority vote by participating
regular members. The passed amendment draft is then distributed
among Executive Board members by the Publications Committee. The
final amendment requires a three-fourths majority approval of the