Executive Committee 2014-2018
Greetings! Although the notion of a new year varies across societies and cultures, let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy 2015 and success in all your sociological endeavors. It’s almost six month since the ISA World Congress of Sociology in Yokohama and I am keen to apprise you of some of the developments in the ISA during this new term.
The preparations for the 3rd ISA Forum of Sociology in Vienna, Austria from July 10-14, 2016 are well underway with the theme of “Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”. Designed as a mid-term meeting of Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups combined with the Business Meeting of the ISA Research Council, the Forum is organized by ISA Vice-President Research, Markus Schulz in collaboration with the ISA Research Coordinating Committee and the Austrian Local Organizing Committee chaired by Rudolf Richter, University of Vienna.
Vineeta Sinha, Vice-President Publications initiated a search for a new editor for International Sociology and we hope to have a new editor in place by March 2015. The incoming editor will take over from Christine Inglis, the current Editor, who has successfully served for the past four years. Benjamín Tejerina, Vice President for Finance and Membership, has been busy assessing, and doing the initial groundwork to increase the overall membership of the ISA while the Vice-President, National Associations, Sari Hanafi, represented the ISA at the European Sociological Association, the Kazakhstan sociological forum and will also do so at the congress of the Lebanese Sociological Association. I will be working with the VPs in increasing our membership and in getting greater representation of national sociological associations into the ISA. The ISA Executive Committee has been an important part of the decision making and as always, the ISA Secretariat, headed by Izabela Barlinska has been vital to the organizational operations.
As the new President of the ISA, I had laid out my priorities and also emphasized the importance of sociological research, policy, pedagogy and practice in strengthening our discipline’s role in addressing social justice in the 21st century (http://isa-global-dialogue.net/strengthening-sociologys-commitment-to-social-justice/). In the past couple of months I have had the privilege of participating in the national conferences of the Japanese Sociological Society in Kobe, Japan and of the Indian Sociological Association in Varanasi India. It was indeed gratifying to note that the sociologists in these two countries are underscoring the important roles that sociology can and needs to play in 21stcentury. That the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Indian Sociological Association’s conference, on “development, diversity and democracy is an endorsement of the importance of sociology in framing these issues. At both conferences I impressed upon the members of the JSS and the ISS the necessity to participate at every opportunity in public debates on contemporary issues across the media and other fora in order to rectify the current deficit of visibility in our interface with society. Our sociological perspectives, attentive to diverse voices in society, are vital for comprehending both the “big picture” and the nuances of the workings of our tumultuous world, and for coming up with constructive critiques and creative solutions, guided by our visions for social justice. Therefore, it is only appropriate that we, sociologists, play our role as public intellectuals fighting "from the sociological trenches" in a long “war of position” for structural change in our globalized world.
Let me end by wishing us all, members and fellow sociologists across the globe, personal happiness and fulfillment, but also, above all, effectiveness and success in our important professional calling for the New Year 2015. I will keep our channels of communication open; will be receptive of new ideas and ways of doing things, and I will look forward to your suggestions and input on issues pertaining to the ISA.
President, International Sociological Association
Professor of Sociology, Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549, USA