Research Committees


Approved in 2010, updated in 2015, 2018.


A. Membership

  1. Members shall either be regular members or affiliated members.
    1. Regular members shall be individuals in good standing within the ISA.
    2. Affiliated members shall be individuals interested in the activities of RC40, who are not members of the ISA.
  2. All regular members of RC40 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".
  3. All regular and affiliated members of RC40 shall be entitled to:
    1. priority status for participating in the scientific activities of the Research Committee.
    2. receive the newsletter issued by RC40 free of charge
  4. All regular and affiliated members of RC40 shall be obliged to:
    1. uphold the present Statutes of RC40 and to adhere to the stipulations of the present Statutes.
    2. conscientiously fulfil the tasks entrusted to them by the General Meeting or other bodies of RC40.
    3. pay their fee for the respective period (i.e. 4 years). This fee shall be fixed by the RC40 Executive Committee at each General Meeting for both regular and affiliate members. The respective amounts to be paid shall be specified in the Bylaws to the present Statutes. 
  5. Officers and Executive Committee Members of the RC40:
    1. are elected in the year prior to the quadrennial World Congress and take office at that Congress.
    2. cannot succeed themselves.
    3. must be members in good standing in the ISA and of RC40 throughout the four years of their mandate. 

B. Bylaws on the RC40 Membership Fee 

  1. The membership fees for RC40 are fixed as follows:
    1. USD 40 for members from "category A" countries as defined by the ISA.
    2. USD 20 for members from "category B" countries as defined by the ISA.
    3. USD 10 for members from "category C" countries as defined by the ISA.
  2. In line with ISA practice, membership fees are collected for a period of four years, i.e. USD 40 for members from "category A" countries will be collected every four years.
    1. For a list of countries see currently valid ISA membership form.

C. Governing Bodies

  1. RC40 is governed by two Officers, an Executive Committee and by a Business Meeting Assembly.
  2. The Officers of the RC40 are:
    1. The President, whose duties are:
      1. to organize the scientific and administrative work of the committee in consultation with the secretary-treasurer and members of the executive committee.
      2. to convene and organize the quadrennial business meeting as well as any meetings of the executive committee.
      3. to appoint the editorial committee of the International Journal of the Sociology of Agriculture and Food.
      4. to provide, with the assistance of the secretary, a free newsletter or equivalent to the membership at least twice annually.
    2. The Secretary/Treasurer, whose duties are:
      1. to assist the president in the coordination of the scientific and business activities of RC40.
      2. to maintain a record of all committee business and executive meetings, and maintain the financial records.
      3. to make a yearly statement of financial affairs to the executive committee and a quadrennial statement of financial affairs to the membership at the quadrennial business meeting. The Treasurer must be discharged of their financial responsibilities by the Business Meeting Assembly.
      4. to conduct the elections of new officers.
  3. The Executive Committee, which consists of:
    1. The current president and secretary-treasurer
    2. The immediate past president and secretary-treasurer
    3. Four elected representatives
    4. A dedicated junior scholar seat
  4. The duties of the Members of the Executive Committee are to:
    1. advise the President and Secretary on all scientific and business matters pertaining to the activities of the Research Committee.
    2. review the secretary's annual financial report.
    3. identify the themes and topics for at least one mid-term conference and take responsibility for the organization of those sessions;
    4. identify (i) the Research Committee’s delegate to the ISA Research Council and other organizations and (ii) the alternate delegate to the Research Council.
  5. Business Meeting Assembly
    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 the RC40. Votes can only be cast by regular RC40 members in good standing who are present at the Meeting.
    2. The duties of the Assembly are:
      1. to evaluate and approve the four-year-report.
      2. to discharge the outgoing Executive Committee of its responsibilities, including the financial statement.
      3. to discuss and carry motions on any other point that may arise.
      4. Decisions in a Business Meeting Assembly are taken by simple majority.
  6. Measures for replacing inactive Officers
    1. Temporary vacancies in the Executive Committee between consecutive ISA World Congresses may be filled by appointment by the President, in accordance with ISA Statute 4.5.
    2. The places of any Executive Committee member not in good standing with either the ISA or RC40 may be declared temporarily vacant by the President, at the President’s discretion, and the vacancy filled according to paragraph (a).
    3. One of the Executive Committee members, identified by the Executive Committee will assume the responsibilities of the President of the Executive Committee 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.

D. Elections

  1. All regular members of RC40, in good standing, shall be entitled to:
    1. run for office.
    2. vote in all RC40 elections.
  2. Nomination Procedure
    1. To ensure participation of all regular and affiliated members, nomination shall be done by mail. To this end, the Secretary shall prepare a form to be sent to all regular and affiliated members at least twenty weeks before the election day together with a list of all regular members of RC40.
    2. All regular and affiliated members of RC40 shall be entitled to nominate candidates for the Executive Committee. Nominated candidates shall be regular members of RC40. They shall confirm their preparedness to accept the respective position on the Executive Committee 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.
  3. The Secretary shall prepare a ballot listing all nominated candidates along with the respective positions on the Executive Committee. 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 members of RC40 by mail at least ten weeks before the election day.
  4. Regular and affiliated members shall send their ballot by mail or email to the designated electoral officer(s). Ballots received later than two weeks before the beginning of the World Congress shall not be counted.
  5. The Secretary/Treasurer will count the votes, present them to the Executive Committee and will record the tally in the minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting. Any tie votes will be resolved through a vote by Executive Committee members.
  6. The Secretary/Treasurer will publish the results of the vote. 


  1. Promotion and encouragement of scientific analysis of the social organization of agriculture and food systems.
  2. Organization of the substantive content of the RC40 session of the quadrennial meetings of the World Congress of Sociology.
  3. Organization of additional international meetings, including those that are held in conjunction with national and regional associations and other scientific meetings.


  1. The International Journal of the Sociology of Agriculture and Food is the official scientific journal of RC40. 
  2. The content of the journal shall reflect the scientific interests of the Research Committee, which is the sociological study of agriculture and food.
  3. The editor(s) are appointed by the RC40 President in conjunction with the executive committee. The term of service for editors shall be negotiated in consultation with the executive committee.
  4. A dedicated EC representative will act as liaison between the journal ediorial team and the executive committee.
  5. The editors shall, in consultation with the executive committee, appoint an editorial assistant to take charge of the daily running of the journal. The editorial assistant shall have responsibility for co-ordinating the entire submission, reviewing and publication process; responding to contributors; liaising with reviewers; maintaining the website; ensuring that the editors are provided with regular updates on contributions and reviewing; and, assisting in the planning of future issues.
  6. The president of RC40, in consultation with the editors and the members of the executive committee, shall appoint the members of the editorial board. The editorial board members consist of distinguished researchers in the sociology of agriculture and food and at the time of appointment must be members of RC40.
  7. The executive committee shall, where possible, provide financial support to ensure the ongoing viability of the journal.
  8. The editors shall transmit regular reports on the journal to the RC40 newsletter and shall present a report at the quadrennial business meeting.
  9. The editors shall transmit a complete record of journal finances to the secretary of RC40, who shall add those records to the yearly financial report that is to be submitted to the executive committee and the quadrennial report submitted to the business meeting.


  1. Any proposal for amendments to the Statutes or bylaws may be made by any regular member in good standing of RC40.
  2. Such a proposal must be received by the Board at least one year before the World Congress.
  3. The proposal will be circulated among all RC40 regular 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.
  4. The proposed amendments must be initially approved by a simple majority vote during the quadrennial RC40 business meeting.
  5. Amendments must then be ratified by mail or email ballot of regular members by a simple majority of those voting.