Research Committees


Revised 2002, 2012, 2014, 2017



The Research Committee on Sociological Theory is referred to hereafter as RC16.



  1. RC16 has been established in accordance with Article Four of the ISA Statutes.
  2. RC16 raises its funds by levying a subscription on its members, and in other ways.
  3. RC16 administers its funds in accordance with Article Four of the ISA Statutes.



The objectives of the RC16 are:

  1. to organize open interrelationships among its various schools of thoughts, helping resolve its recurring crises and define its future prospects.
  2. to create an international community among scholars in the field of sociological theory



The activities of R16 in pursuit of these objectives include, among other things:

  1. the publication of a Newsletter twice a year, generally in May and November
  2. organizing conference sessions at the World Congress of Sociology every four years
  3. organizing at least one major mid-term conference between each World Congress of Sociology  iv. facilitating the organization and publicity for other conferences
  4. Administering and awarding the Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Theory Award of Research Committee 16 of the International Sociological Association, which is given once every four years
  5. Administering and awarding the Best Junior Theorist Paper in Sociological Theory Award of Research Committee 16 of the International Sociological Association, which is given once every four years 
  6. Holding a Business meeting at least once every four years – normally at the ISA World Congress. A business meeting will normally also be held at the mid-term conference of RC16.


  1. Membership is open to all individuals and institutions working in the field of sociological theory;

  2. Membership can be distinguished into two types:

    1. “Regular members in good standing” are defined those members who paid membership fees to both RC16 and ISA

    2. “Affiliated members” are defined those members who paid membership fees only to RC16          This distinction applies to both individual and institutional members.  

  3. All members in good standing are entitled to vote on organizational matters at the
    General Meeting of R C16 which usually takes place during ISA World Congresses or by
    electronic ballot.

  4. All members are entitled:

    1. to receive the RC16 Newsletter and such other publications as RC16 may issue;

    2. to attend the mid term meeting.


  1. The Officers of RC16 are: Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Newsletter Editor and up to 10 members of the executive board, chosen to represent different geographical areas. The Chair from the previous Board remains as a non-voting member ex-officio for one term (Past Chair) to ensure continuity. Pairs of candidates may also be nominated for the position of Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, or Editor of the Newsletter, to function as Co-Chair, CoSecretary/Treasurers or Co-Editors of the Newsletter respectively. 
  2. The officers of RC16 shall carry out conscientiously the tasks entrusted to them by the Board of RC16;
  3. Among the tasks of the officers are:
    1. to be responsible for communications with the ISA;
    2. to be responsible for preparing a program of academic sessions for RC16 at the World Congress of Sociology;
    3. to arrange the General Meeting of RC16
    4. to maintain a bank account;
    5. to execute all decisions and be responsible for the running of RC16 between General Meetings;
    6. to submit written reports on their activities at each General Meeting of RC16. These shall include reports on the Research Committee's activities, its Newsletter and its financial position;
    7. to organize a midterm conference at least once every four years.
    8. to name the RC16 delegate and alternate to the ISA Research Council.
    9. to set the level of membership fees for RC16and communicate this information to ISA.  
  4. The number of offices, minimum 5, may be increased or decreased in order to maximize the effectiveness of the work of RC16. 
  5. Decisions on the number of voting officers shall be made either at the General Meeting, or, between General Meetings by the officers. 
  6. Officers shall be elected via electronic ballot or at the General Meeting, see Art.
  7. If any officer resigns or is unable to serve - including the chair- then the remaining officers, with the advice of the Board, shall appoint a replacement.
  8. Responsibilities of the Treasurer include: 
    1. collect the membership fees and other incomes
    2. keep financial documentation
    3. prepare the financial report to the Board to be accepted by the General Meeting
    4. realize the financial relations between RC 16 and the ISA 



  1. A general meeting of RC16 shall be held during each World Congress of Sociology. 
  2. Its functions are:
    1. to receive reports on the work of RC16 since the last general meeting;
    2. to elect the Board and officers of RC16 if the election did not take place by electronic ballot;
    3. to give guidance regarding the work of RC16, by passing resolutions or by other means.
    4. to discharge the Treasurer and board of their financial responsibilities 



  1. The Board consists of:
  1. the immediate past (co-)chairs of RC16, who act as non-voting ex-officio members of the Executive Board. 
  2. the elected officers (in the range of 5-7): at present the co-chairs,  secretarytreasurer, newsletter editor(s), and up to eight additional members of the Executive Board. 
  1. The elected members of the Board of C16s hall be elected as detailed in Art. IX 
  2. In accordance with Article 4.6 of the ISA Statutes, every member of the RC16 Board shall be a member of the ISA. 
  3. Any change in the number of elected members on the Board shall be decided at the General Meeting but before the election takes place. 
  4. A term of office is four years.   
  5. In the case of resignation or inability to serve by a Board member (including the Chair), the officers have the power to nominate a replacement for the duration of the mandate. 
  6. The functions of the Board are:
    1. to promote all the activities of RC16;
    2. to give advice to the officers on any matter;
    3. to co-organize a mid-term conference between World Congresses;
    4. to nominate the delegate and alternate to the Research Council Meetings;
    5. to define topics for sessions hosted by RC16 at the World Congress of Sociology, and to organize those sessions.  



  1. The election for Elected Officers and Board Members shall take place by electronic ballot. 
  2. All RC16 members in good standing shall be eligible to vote, either by electronic ballot or at the General Meeting in case elections have not already taken place. 
  3. The Board of RC16 must name a 2-3 member nominating committee, which begins the election process at least 3 months before the General Meeting, i.e. 3 months before the first day of the ISA World Congress. Members of the nominating committee cannot be candidates for election. The committee first solicits nominations from the members of RC16. All nominations must bear the signatures of three RC16 members in good standing other than the nominee. E-mails supporting a candidate equal a signature. Candidates must express a willingness to participate actively in the RC prior to their being included on the ballot and also agree to remain regular members in good standing throughout their mandate. 
  4. If insufficient nominations have been received in times, members of the nominating committee shall actively solicit nominees. The committee shall ensure that the list of nominees will show as much diversity as possible, among national committees and among theoretical orientations. 
  5. The quorum for the General Meeting shall be 20 members. The quorum for the electronic ballot is 50% of the members in good standing. 
  6. Voting shall be by secret ballot and might take place electronically. 



  1. Any motion to amend the statutes shall be sent to all members in good standing by e-mail and to the Newsletter Editor for publication in the RC16 Newsletter. 
  2. Such motions should have the signatures of ten members of RC16 in good standing or from the board. 
  3. Motions to amend the statutes will be considered at the General Meeting of RC16, and come into effect if supported by a simple majority of those present.