Research Committees


These statutes were adopted at the business meeting on July 31, 1998. Amendments were adopted in 2021 and at the Business Meeting at the IV ISA Forum of Sociology on February 25, 2021.

General Objective

  1. The general objective of Research Committee 45 on Rational Choice (RC45) is to advance the development of Rational Choice Theory. This includes its application to various explanatory problems across social science disciplines, its empirical test, its theoretical development and comparison with alternative theoretical approaches. The RC tries to achieve this general objective by promoting the international exchange of scientific information across disciplinary borders.


  1. To realize this objective RC45 will
    1. organize sessions at the ISA's World Congresses of Sociology;
    2. organize at least one additional international meeting per term;
    3. organize or sponsor additional international meetings, workshops, or sessions at international meetings that are related to Rational Choice Theory;
    4. publish a Newsletter, published at least twice annually and circulated to all members in good standing, to keep them informed about ongoing and planned activities;
    5. advance other activities that promote research on Rational Choice Theory.


  1. Members shall either be regular, student, life, or affiliated members.
    1. Regular members shall be individuals or institutions in good standing within the ISA.
    2. Student members shall be individuals in good standing within the ISA.
    3. Life members shall be individuals in good standing within the ISA who are 70 years old or higher.
    4. Affiliated members shall be individuals or institutions interested in the activities of RC45, who are not members of the ISA.
    5. New affiliated members are accepted by the Board. If no formal decision has been communicated with 4 months after a new member's first payment, silent confirmation is assumed.
  2. All regular, student, life, and affiliated members of RC45 have the right to
    1. vote as individual members in the discussions about organizational matters at the Business Meetings according to the principle "one member, one vote" that means that one institution also has one vote;
    2. participate in the scientific activities of the Research Committee;
    3. receive the Newsletter issued by RC45 free of charge.
  3. All regular, student, life, and affiliated members of RC45 are obliged to
    1. uphold the present Statutes of RC45 and to adhere to the stipulations of the present Statutes;
    2. pay their fee for the period of their membership. Membership fees cover a 4-calendar year period for regular, student, and affiliated members and a lifetime for life members. The fee is fixed at each Business Meeting for both individual members and organizations. The respective amounts to be paid shall be specified in the Bylaws to the present Statutes. Upon request, the Board can grant fee exemptions for affiliate members.


  1. Board of RC 45
    1. The Board of RC 45 shall consist of
      1. a President,
      2. a Secretary-Treasurer, and
      3. 3 to 7 other members.
      It is responsible for the overall organizational and scientific activities of the RC.
    2. The duties of the Board are:
      1. to organize the activities of the RC45;
      2. to represent the RC in the ISA and elsewhere;
      3. to manage the funds of the RC including decisions on membership fees;
      4. to identify a delegate and an alternate delegate to the ISA Research Council and other organizations.
    3. The duties of the Secretary-Treasurer are:
      1. to collect the membership fees from affiliated members and institutions as well as other incomes;
      2. to keep financial documentation;
      3. to prepare the financial report to the Board to be accepted by the Business Meeting;
      4. to realize the financial relations between RC 45 and the ISA.
    4. Each member of the Board must at all times be:
      1. a member in good standing of the ISA in accordance with the ISA Statutes, and
      2. a member in good standing of RC45.
    5. Temporary vacancies in the Board between consecutive ISA World Congresses may be filled by appointment by the remaining Board on nomination by the President, in accordance with ISA Statute 4.5.
    6. The places of any Board member not in good standing with either the ISA or RC45 may be declared temporarily vacant by the remaining Board, and the vacancy filled according to the previous paragraph.
    7. 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.
    8. The Board may establish committees for specific purposes and for a specified and limited duration, that will remain accountable to the Board.
  2. Board meetings must be called by at least two members of the Board. A Board meeting can only take valid decisions if 2/3 of the Board members are present. Board decisions can also be taken by mail ballot among the Board members. The Board takes its decisions by simple majority.


  1. 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 shall act accordingly. Members have always the right to use the communication type they choose; they are responsible for keeping terms.


  1. Elections RC45
    1. Elections to the Board will be held every 4 years. The election day will be in the month prior to the beginning of the respective World Congress and determined by the Board.
    2. The Board determines the number of Board members to be elected for the next term and appoints an Electoral Officer who is not seeking election for the upcoming term to conduct the election.
    3. The Electoral Officer prepares a form to be sent to all regular, student, life, and affiliated members at least 2 months before the election day together with a list of all regular, student, and life members of RC45.
    4. All regular, student, life, and affiliated members of RC45 shall be entitled to nominate candidates for the Board.
    5. Nominated candidates shall be regular, student, and life members of RC45. They shall confirm their preparedness
      1. to accept the respective position on the Board in case they are elected
      2. and to remain a regular, student, or life member in good standing for the duration of their mandate,
      3. and shall return the nomination form to the Secretary, together with a brief curriculum vitae.
    6. The President may not seek reelection for his/her office in the following term. No member of the Board can serve more than 2 consecutive terms; a term as President is not counted.
    7. 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, nominated candidates are listed in alphabetical order. The ballot is sent to all regular, student, life, and affiliated members of RC45 at least 1 month before the election day.
    8. Regular, student, life, and affiliated members send their ballots to the Electoral Officer. Alternatively, the Board may decide to set up a website to cast votes electronically.
      Business Meeting

Business Meeting

  1. A Business Meeting Assembly is held at least every four years, preferably at the World Congress.
    1. The meeting is chaired by the President of the RC. Votes can only be cast by RC members in good standing who are present at the meeting.
    2. The duties of the Assembly are:
      1. to evaluate and approve the 4-year report;
      2. to discharge the outgoing Board of its responsibilities, including the financial statement;
      3. to confirm the incoming Board;
      4. to discuss and carry motions on any other point that may arise.
    3. Decisions in a Business Meeting Assembly are taken by simple majority


  1. The RC will administer its own funds. The funds of the RC consist of
    1. Membership fees from individual and institutional members;
    2. Revenues from conferences and other activities;
    3. ISA subsidies;
    4. Donations, grants, and other means.
  2. Expenses are made by the Treasurer on behalf of the Board.
    1. A statement of financial affairs will be given by the Treasurer every 4 years to the Board of RC45 and to the Business Meeting Assembly. The Treasurer must be discharged of their financial responsibilities by the Business Meeting Assembly.

Amendments to Statutes and Bylaws

  1. Changes and amendments (henceforward "changes") to these Statutes must be proposed in writing by at least five RC members in good standing at least 3 months prior to a Business Meeting Assembly.
    1. A notice on the proposition including the paragraphs to which such changes refer must be communicated to members at least 2 months prior to a Business Meeting Assembly.
    2. Changes must be approved by 2/3 of the votes in a Business Meeting Assembly.

Final Regulation

  1. If any term or provision of these Statutes, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances or period of time, shall to any extent be invalid or unenforceable,
    1. the remainder of these Statutes shall be valid and enforced;
    2. the established practice at RC45 serves as valid.
  2. At the time of adoption, these Statutes are congruent with the ISA statutes. If future changes of ISA statutes should lead to conflicts, these RC45 Statutes remain valid until changed according to Article 13.


The membership fees are:

LIFE MEMBERS (for lifetime)
ISA category A US$ 20 US$ 10 US$ 30
All other countries US$ 10 US$ 10 US$ 15