Theory Charter

Charter of the Theory Section (TS) of the International Studies Association (ISA)

Article I: Name.
This Section shall be known as the Theory Section (TS) of the International Studies Association (ISA).

Article II: Affiliation.
The TS is one of the Sections of the ISA and as such subscribes to its purposes and activities.

Article III: Purposes.
The aim of the TS is to encourage and promote theoretical debates in the study of international politics. As such, it provides a platform for scholars to interrogate the meaning and purpose of theory in the field of International Relations (IR), to engage the task of theory building, to explore the relationship between theory and history, and the impact of theories on policymaking.

To accomplish these purposes, TS shall:

  1. facilitate networking among IR scholars of different regional or topical expertise and across the theoretical spectrum;
  2. encourage research and debates on theory, including by enhancing dialogue and collaboration between IR scholars and scholars of Political Theory;
  3. disseminate information on theoretical research by sponsoring or organising workshops, symposia, and professional and other appropriate meetings;
  4. seek ways to further the teaching of theory in the field of International Relations.

Article IV: Relationships.
The TS will encourage cooperative relations with other organizations within or outside the ISA which share its interests.

Article V: Membership.

  1. Any ISA member sharing the purposes of this section may become a member of the TS upon payment of whatever dues shall be established.
  2. Members are entitled to attend the Annual General Meeting, are eligible for nomination to elective office, may nominate and vote for officers, sponsor and vote on amendments to this charter, participate in TS activities, and receive copies of the TS newsletter via e-mail.

Article VI: Annual General Meeting.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of section members shall be held in conjunction with the ISA annual convention. The meeting shall conduct the business of the section, as well as carrying any other activity consistent with the purposes of the section.

Article VII: Officers.
The officers of the TS shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer, and Publicity Officer. The Treasurer or the Publicity Officer may also take on the role of Secretary, responsible for taking minutes at the AGM.

  1. The Chairperson shall call meetings and preside at them, coordinate section activities, act as liaison with the ISA and shall be the official spokesperson of the TS unless the Executive Committee determines otherwise. The Chairperson shall be responsible for preparing and presenting the annual report at the AGM in collaboration with the other officers.
  2. The Vice-chairperson shall be responsible for organizing the TS-sponsored panels at the ISA annual convention in collaboration with the chairperson.
  3. The Treasurer shall be responsible for raising funds and approving their expenditure in consultation with the chairperson, keeping accurate financial records, and for drawing up an annual balance sheet to be presented at the AGM.
  4. The Publicity Officer shall be responsible for outreach, such as through preparation and circulation of a Section Newsletter at least once a year, in collaboration with other officers.

Article VIII: Elections to Office.

  1. Officers are elected at the Annual General Meeting.
  2. Nominations for office shall come from members following the call for nominations by the Executive Committee and can be submitted via e-mail to the Executive Committee.
  3. The Executive Committee shall present to the membership by e-mail the names of one or more nominees for each vacant position at least two weeks prior to the AGM.
  4. Additional nominations sponsored by at least five (5) members may be made at the AGM and shall be eligible for election.
  5. Elections will be held at the AGM. Members will be able to vote (i) by email, received by the Executive Committee at least five (5) days prior to the AGM and (ii) in person, given by members present at the AGM.
  6. Officers shall serve for a term of two years in their designated positions.
  7. If one of the officers resigns or is indisposed before the end of his or her term of office, the other officers shall designate a replacement to act until the next AGM, when an election for that office will take place.


Article IX: Executive Committee.
The officers of the TS shall form and be called the Executive Committee.

  1. The Executive Committee shall meet at the ISA annual convention and at such other reasonable times and places designated by the chairperson.
  2. The Executive Committee shall set rules and agenda for the AGM and conduct the business of the section at times between the AGMs. Its duties are to review the annual budget, set membership dues, and consider the overall policy of the Section, including ideas for panels and other relevant activities.
  3. The Executive Committee shall appoint from within itself the office of webmaster (if needed).
  4. The Executive Committee recognizes that the Section has a responsibility to prepare an annual report for the ISA Governing Council and a review document in the fifth (5) year of the Section’s existence for the purpose of re-chartering.

Article X: Advisory Board.
The TS shall have an Advisory Board comprised of about fifteen (15) senior scholars in the field with a recognized expertise in the realm of theory.

  1. The Advisory Board shall be a resource for the Executive Committee seeking support and advice in developing and promoting section activities.
  2. Members of the Advisory Board may propose section activities and are invited to participate in workshops organised by the section.
  3. Members of the Advisory Board shall be invited by the Executive Committee to serve for a period of initially three (3) years, after which composition of the Board shall be reviewed by the Executive Committee.

Article XI: Amendments.

  1. Amendments to this charter may be proposed by the Executive Committee, or by petition of at least ten (10) members of the TS. Members shall be informed of proposed amendments either through the Section Newsletter or by special email.
  2. Amendments shall be considered at the AGM and adopted if approved by two-thirds of the members present and voting.