Executive Committee 2014-2018

June 2015

Greetings! As part of my commitment to ongoing communications I want to take this opportunity to update you on what we have been doing at the ISA since my last letter in January 2015.

Executive Committee annual meeting:

In March 2015, ISA Executive Committee (EC) for the period 2014-2018 met for the first time at its annual meeting at the Jagellonian University in Cracow, Poland.  The EC meeting and a symposium, Global Sociology - Local Perspectives were organized and warmly hosted by Grazyna Skapska, Executive Committee member and our institutional hosts, Jagiellonian University, Polish National Bank, Polish Sociological Society. The EC meetings were intense and productive. The first two days were devoted to the separate meetings of the Publications Committee chaired by VP Vineeta Sinha, Membership and Finance Committee, chaired by VP Benjamín Tejerina, Research Coordinating Committee, chaired by VP Markus Schulz and National Association Liaison Committee chaired by VP Sari Hanafi. The EC then met as a whole for two days culminating on the last day with the successful symposium organized by our hosts. A summary of the reports and my letter is posted on the botton.

A comprehensive report prepared by Brigitte Aulenbacher, (Vice-Chair), Rudolf  Richter (Chair) and Ida Seljeskoj of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the ISA Forum was provided to the EC members prior to the meeting. Brigitte Aulenbacher presented to the RCC and EC the main issues including poster, opening reception, sponsorship and LOC Blog.

I attended all the meetings of the four committees and at the EC meeting that I chaired, I reported on my activities since taking office as ISA President. These included my involvement in (1) ISA Presidential Operational Activities, including Transitional Activities related to World Congress in Yokohama; Capacity Building of the ISA Secretariat and ongoing Interaction with ISA Vice-Presidents and Local Organizing Committees. (2) Presidential Travel and Speaking Engagements at American Sociological Association, Indian Sociological Society, Japanese Sociological Society. (3) Presidential Projects: Initial planning of the aims and scope of the project on Mapping Sociologists for Social Inclusion and as a Global Resource. We also briefly touched upon the initial planning required for coordinating a global project on ending gendered and intersectional violence.

The EC discussed and accepted my proposed title, Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities for the 2018 World Congress of Sociology in Toronto. Two other items were discussed: First, setting up a sub-committee to develop a proposal for short term ISA Partner institution fellowships that would complement a number of our ongoing projects, including ISA Ph.D. Labs, and the second, support from the Haverford Institute of Public Sociology (HIPS) by providing 10 travel grants of $500 to support the goals of ISA and the Presidential commitment to encourage participation at the ISA Forum among junior sociologists.

Sub-committee reports were provided by Robert Van Krieken on RC/WG/TG Statutes Revision; on Early Career Sociologists by Vineeta Sinha, Human Rights by Sari Hanafi. Activities reports were provided by Stewart Lockie on the International Council for Science; by Ramon Flecha and Marta Soler on the Oñati International Institute of Sociology of Law. Rosemary Barberet presented a report prepared jointly with Jan M. Fritz about their participation in the 58th session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women in New York. Emma Porio, ISA representative at the GDN reported on GDN’s recent activities, and Vineeta Sinha reported on the preparations for the International Laboratory for Ph.D. students to be held in Singapore in July 2015.

On behalf of the EC, I would like to thank our hosts in Cracow for their hospitality, especially Grazyna Skapska.  A special thanks to Izabela Barlinska and the ISA Secretariat for their invaluable role in organizing and coordinating our successful EC meetings.

Other important Information:

Third ISA Forum of Sociology, July 2016, Vienna, Austria

The Call for Abstracts for the Forum has been open from 14 April 2015 and will close on 30 September 2015 24:00 GMT at  I encourage you to submit your abstracts for what will surely be an intellectually stimulating and engaging forum.

New membership administration

Over the last decade our association has grown and new activities and conferences have been added.  To meet the increasing needs of the association, ISA Executive decided to improve membership administration by incorporating new technologies provided by the JL System. This new system allows members to update their profile on-line, check membership status and complete payments due. Please visit https://isa.enoah.com/Sign-In

Abstracts of PhD Dissertations

ISA encourages students who are in the middle of their PhD studies or have completed in the last 5-6 years to add their PhD dissertation abstract and a short bio to the special open access database on the ISA website. The entries are searchable by keywords, author, title, as well as areas of interest, country and supervisor's name. http://www.isa-sociology.org/en/junior-sociologists/dissertation-abstracts/. I want to especially thank Oleg Komlik, Chair of the Junior Sociologists Network http://www.isa-sociology.org/en/junior-sociologists/junior-sociologists-network/ who has been pivotal in promoting this initiative. We hope this initiative will foster collaborations and the exchange of ideas among junior sociologists and help promote ISA’s goal of advancing and disseminating sociological knowledge throughout the world.

I want to reiterate that I view part of my role as the ISA president to be an ambassador for the ISA. I am committed to strengthening the role of sociology, building collaborations and achieving the goals of our International Sociological Association. In the last three months I have been fortunate to visit Madrid, Cracow, Lancaster University and the British Sociological Association meetings in Glasgow. In the next few weeks I will be speaking at the South African Sociological Association and Brazilian Sociological Association. These visits have also been an important avenue to encourage membership and participation in the ISA and its professional activities and to share my presidential goals and preliminary discussions on presidential projects. These invitations have provided important opportunities to both speak and listen to diverse perspectives on a range of issues, including on addressing the ongoing violence in our world. I am continuously reminded of the importance of engaging in sociological dialogue “in and across contexts” to address key issues of our time. Thank you once again for all your contributions to the ISA. I will continue to update you and keep our channels of communication open.


Margaret Abraham
President, International Sociological Association
Professor of Sociology, Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549, USA
Email: margaret.abraham@hofstra.edu

Summaries of the EC Reports by ISA Vice Presidents

Markus Schulz: Vice President for Research

Markus Schulz presented a report on Research Coordinating Committee’s (RCC) activities. Apart from structuring the RCC’s work by constituting a set of subcommittees, the main focus was on the preparations for the upcoming Third ISA Forum of Sociology, to be held in Vienna, Austria, 10-14 July 2016. The Forum theme “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World” provides a broad, forward-oriented platform for the RC/WG/TGs full spectrum of concerns. A central feature of the Forum will be the Common Sessions for which each RC/WG/TG is invited to nominate a plenary speaker who can share insights on the theme from its field’s perspective. This is intended to foster conversation and collaboration across the ISA’s research units. Special guest, Brigitte Aulenbacher, Vice-Chair of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), provided the latest updates about the LOC’s manifold preparations in Vienna, including an LOC blog, LOC plenary sessions and social issues of the host city, country, and region.

The RCC reviewed and approved grant applications from twenty RCs. A review of the statutes of RCs, WGs, and TGs has been underway since 2008 with several units still in the process of bringing their statutes in line with basic ISA requirements. Individual Board Members of one RC sought ISA intervention in a leadership crisis. Upon discussion the RCC decided that this was a matter for the RC and its Board to resolve internally in accordance with its statutes. Also, RC/WG/TG boards and their financial decisions that arose from the Yokohama meeting of the previous RCC will be studied closely.

Sari Hanafi: Vice-President National Associations

Sari Hanafi reported that he had encouraged national associations to (re)join the ISA and underlined that he would continue to spread the vision of ISA to national sociological associations. He attended and reported on the European Sociological Association’s executive meeting with national associations, on the theme of “Research and teaching in Europe” held in Paris in November 2014. He noted that the problem of quantitative and standardized benchmarking for evaluating research and ranking universities was a real concern for European sociological associations.

NALC members will ask conference organizers of interesting meetings to inform and invite the ISA. The NALC recommended the continuation of Global Dialogue, citing its value for learning what sociologists are working on in both focal and peripheral areas across the globe. The NALC unanimously voted that Global Dialogue be kept as an ISA project, that Michael Burawoy continue as its editor and that it move from NALC to Publications. The Kazakhstani Sociological Association has extended an invitation to hold the Conference of the Council of National Associations (CNA) in 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The NALC members proposed and discussed various themes and unanimously recommended “Sociologies in Dialogue” as the theme of the CNA meeting. NALC members discussed and unanimously approved the application for regular collective membership of the Palestinian Sociological Association. The NALC also reviewed and approved seven applications for grants for 2015: (Australian Sociological Association, Croatian Sociological Association, Masaryk Czech Sociological Association, Finnish Westermarck Society, Iranian Sociological Association, Norwegian Sociological Association, and Sociological Association of Ukraine).

Vineeta Sinha: Vice President for Publications

Vineeta Sinha reported on the activities of Publications Committee (PC) and welcomed Marta Soler, the new editor for International Sociology. Editors presented their respective publication reports. SAGE presented the Publisher’s report and discussed the details of all the ISA publications. The Publication Committee addressed Editors’ contracts renewal and decisions were made to streamline processes. The proposal of a pattern of 3+2+2 years, i.e. three years for the first contracts and two renewals of two years each was collectively agreed upon. The PC members also decided that presidential addresses should be published in an ISA journal and recommended that subject to review it be published in International Sociology.

The Publications Committee proposed four sessions on publications at ISA Forum of Sociology in Vienna, 2016: two sessions on “Meet the Editors,” and one session each on “Academic Writing Workshop” and “Professional Development” respectively. The Publications Committee also wants to support early career sociologists by offering these mentoring activities. The PC recommended that Global Dialogue should continue as part of the ISA’s publication package under the remit of the Publications Committee and that the appointment of new editors for Global Dialogue should be in line with the procedures for other ISA publications. The PC members recommended a review of all digital publications and suggested a consolidation and restructuring strategy to eliminate overlaps and duplications. SAGE will work with the Editors to work towards the integration of Social Justice & Democratization Site (SJ&D), ESymposium, Sociopedia andGlobal Dialogue. The Publications Committee recommended that digital publications be made available to all and also expressed a need for staff support for the Committee’s work.

Benjamín Tejerina: VP Finance and Membership

These are some of the decisions taken by the Finance and Membership Committee in Cracow: (1) The system currently used to determine the categories of fees should remain in line with the World Bank categorizations. (2) Members who make a donation to the ISA will now be able to choose among the following purposes: Student Fund, Travel Fund, Publications Fund and Other Activities. (3) The Audited Financial Statement of the 2014 accounts was approved and the committee decideded that a two-page summary of the audited accounts should be posted on the ISA website. (4) To maintain the current fees but to increase the age of Life Members from 65 to 70 years old, as of January 2016. (5) The current fees based on the GNP categories were established in 1998. The membership fee structure has not been amended since then and thus an update of 10% was approved starting in January 2016. (6) The 2015 Budget was approved. Vice-President Finance aims at putting 5% of an annual budget to a reserve. Rules on the use of the reserve are to be developed. (7) Yokohama World Congress has been a record participation of 6,225 scholars and a small surplus was achieved. (8) The Registration Fees for 2016 Forum of Sociology Vienna have been established based on the following assumptions: (i) A greater differentiation between the fees for members and non-members. Non-members registration fees equal member registration fees + 80% of ISA membership dues; (ii) A difference between Early / Regular registration fee of Euro 30; iii. 2016 Forum registration fees are 10% higher than in 2012.