Research Committees


The Statutes were originally adopted in 1986 when RC20 was established. They were subsequently amended in 2002 and in 2012.

1. Objective

The primary objective of the Research Committee on Comparative Sociology is to advance research in the field of comparative sociology by encouraging research, conferences and publications in the field. The RC seeks to facilitate scholarly communication in the domain of international comparisons.

2. Membership

2.1. Members shall either be regular members or affiliated members

2.2. Regular members shall be individuals or institutions in good standing within the ISA

2.3. Affiliated members shall be individuals or institutions interested in the activities of RC 20, who are not members of the ISA

2.4 All regular and affiliated members of RC 20 shall be entitled to vote as individual members in the discussions about organisational matters at the General Meetings according to the principle "one member, one vote" that means that one institution also has one vote.

2.5 All regular and affiliated members of RC 20 shall be entitled to:

  • participate in the scientific activities of the Research Committee
  • receive the newsletter issued by RC20 free of charge

2.6 All regular and affiliated members of RC 20 shall be obliged to:

  • uphold the present Statutes of RC 20 and to adhere to the stipulations of the present Statutes
  • conscientiously fulfil the tasks entrusted to them by the General Meeting or other bodies of RC 20
  • pay their fee for the respective period (i.e. 4 years). This fee shall be fixed by the Board of the Research Committee at each General Meeting for both individual members and organisations. The respective amounts to be paid are specified in the By-Laws to the present Statutes.

3. Officers

3.1 The Research Committee is led by a Steering Board consisting of at least six and a maximum of twelve members who are elected every for year at the occasion of a world Congress.

3.2 The Steering board consists of a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and one or two Vice-Presidents.

3.3 The Secretary shall:

  • organise the General Meetings and the meetings of the Board of RC20 in co-operation with the President
  • assist the President in organising the work of the Board and observe the fulfilment of its decisions

3.4 The Treasurer shall:

  • collect the membership fees and other incomes
  • keep financial documentation
  • prepare the financial report to the Board to be accepted by the General Meeting
  • realise the financial relations between RC 20 and the ISA

3.5 Each member of the Board must at all times be:
(i) a member in good standing of the ISA in accordance with the ISA Statutes, and
(ii) a member in good standing of RC20.

3.6 Temporary vacancies in the Board between consecutive ISA World Congresses may be filled by appointment by the President, in accordance with ISA Statute 4.5.

3.7 The places of any Board member not in good standing with either the ISA or RC20 may be declared temporarily vacant by the President, at the President’s discretion, and the vacancy filled according to paragraph 3.6.

3.8 One of the Board members, identified by the Board, will assume the responsibilities of the President of the Board in the case of the death, incapacitation, resignation, or other inability of the incumbent to carry out the responsibilities of the office of the President.

3.9 Provision for naming the delegate and alternate to the Research Council meetings.
The Board shall identify
(iii) the Research Committee’s delegate to the ISA Research Council and other organizations and
(iv) the alternate delegate to the Research Council.

3.10. Task forces Task forces can be created in areas of comparative sociology deemed to be of particular significance. These task forces will be led by regular members of the committee, and they will be responsible for shaping research strategies and for encouraging conferences and joint publications among members of the committee.

4. Communication

Communication with the members is done by email as far as not otherwise noted. Members who prefer communication by postal letters have the right to state this preference; the committee will act accordingly.

5. Election process

5.1 At least twenty weeks before the election day, the secretary shall prepare a form to be sent to all regular and affiliated members together with a list of all regular members of RC20 and the nomination of an Electoral Officer who may be any RC20 member of good standing who is not seeking election for the up-coming term.

5.2. All regular and affiliated members of RC 20 shall be entitled to nominate candidates for the Board. Nominated candidates shall be regular members of RC 20. They shall confirm their preparedness to accept the respective position on the Board in case they are elected and to remain a regular member in good standing for the duration of their mandate, and shall return the nomination form to the Secretary, together with a brief curriculum vitae

5.3. The Electoral Officer prepares a ballot listing all nominated candidates along with the respective positions on the Board. In case of several nominations for the same position, the nominated candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order. The ballot shall be sent to all regular and affiliated members of RC 20 at least ten weeks before the election day.

5.4. Regular and affiliated members shall send their ballot to the Electoral Officer. Ballots received later than two weeks before the election day.

6. Amendments to Statutes and By Laws

6.1 Any proposal for amendments to the Statutes or By Laws may be made by any member of the Board, or by any five members in good standing of RC20.

6.2 Such a proposal must be received by the Board at least one year before the World Congress.

6.3 The proposal will be circulated among all RC 20 members, together with an explanation of its rationale, at least six months before the next World Congress. The Board will be entitled to propose amendments, to be circulated at least two months before the World Congress.

6.4 The proposed amendments will be put to the General Meeting, and adopted if approved by a two-thirds majority.

7. Business Meeting

7.1 A Business Meeting Assembly is held at least every four years, preferably at the ISA World Congress. The meeting is chaired by the President or by one Vice-President of RC20. Votes can only be cast by regular and affiliated RC 20 members in good standing who are present at the Meeting. The duties of the Assembly are:

  • to evaluate and approve the four-year-report
  • to discharge the outgoing Board of its responsibilities, including the financial statement
  • to discuss and carry motions on any other point that may arise

Decisions in a Business Meeting Assembly are taken by simple majority.

8. Conferences

The Research Committee should organize at least one meeting between ISA congresses.

9. Newsletter

The Research Committee publishes a newsletter to keep members of the committee informed concerning the research, the conferences, and the publications of the committee. Both regular and associate members of the committee receive the newsletter.

10. Activities

The board directs the activities of the Research Committee, appoints the delegate of the RC to the ISA Research Council and the coordinators of the panels to be organized by the RC at the ISA congress.

11. Dues

According to ISA rules, in order to be a member in "good standing", a formal and symbolic fee is requested to be paid to the RC through the ISA secretariat.

12. Confirmation

These statutes were confirmed at the meeting in Buenos Aires in 2012.

By Laws

1. Membership Fee

The membership fees are fixed as follows:

  Regular members Student and unemployed members
ISA category A (according to the current ISA membership form) € 30 € 15
all other countries € 20 € 10