With the growth of ESA, the Executive Committee drafted and distributed a proposal for By-laws in 2013, revised in 2017 and 2019, based on factual decisions as they were made over many years (for conferences, publications, Research Networks, voting). Since 2013, the ESA applies and respects the rules. After a new consultation process including all ESA members that took place in June-July 2019, the proposal was approved by the General Assembly (as required by article 12) on 23 August 2019 during the 14th ESA Conference in Manchester/UK.
BY-LAWS OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
Drafted by Pekka Sulkunen and Anne Ryen (Executive Committee 2011-2013).
Revised and updated by Kathrin Komp and Laura Horn (Policy Committee, Executive Committee 2015-2017).
Updated by Laura Horn (Policy Committee, Executive Committee 2017-2019)
The dispositions enacted by ESA Statutes are completed by the aforesaid By-laws applicable on the same basis as the Statutes and deriving from them. By-laws must be approved by the General Assembly.
1. Working language
The administrative language of ESA shall be English but the statutes are ruled solely by the French version according to French Law.
2. ESA Conferences
2.1 The Executive Committee shall organise a conference of the European Sociological Association every second year. The Executive Committee selects a Conference Programme Committee from among its members, including the President, the Treasurer, and the Chair of the Council of Research Networks.
2.2. The ESA Conference Programme Committee starts preparing the next ESA conference within three months after end of the previous conference. This includes a decision on the theme, starting the selection of invited speakers and planning RN and RS activities, consulting the responsible ESA bodies as stated in the Statutes. The Conference Programme Committee shall have the responsibility for the scientific programme of the conference, the planning of the detailed content of the plenary sessions and for proposing additional special sessions or activities.
2.3 There shall be a Local Organising Committee (LOC) for each ESA Conference. The local organisers decide on the composition of the LOC. The LOC selects its Chair who is responsible for the liaison with the ESA Executive Committee, the Conference Programme Committee and the Office. The Conference Programme Committee is responsible for negotiating an agreement between the LOC and the ESA to specify the detailed responsibilities for each party and the financial arrangements. The contract shall be approved by the Executive Committee and signed by the President and the appropriate officer of the LOC. Any changes will require approval of the Executive Committee. The LOC is responsible in accordance with the general framework approved by the Executive Committee for planning all local practical arrangements, raising funds and for organising appropriate scientific activities of special relevance. The decisions taken by the LOC engage ESA only within the limits of the Agreement approved by the Executive Committee.
2.4. The Conference Programme Committee and the Chair of the Council of Research Networks are responsible for involvement of the Research Networks in preparing the ESA Conference. Information on activities, deadlines and procedures shall be announced on the ESA website. The ESA Sub-Committee for Postgraduate Activity is responsible for conference activities for PhD students.
2.5. The Executive Committee has the power to organise other conferences in addition to the biennial ESA conference.
3.1. ESA publishes publications based on a contract with a publisher.
3.2. The publications of the Association shall be under the general direction of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee appoints a Publications Committee, who is responsible for the preparation of decisions related to scientific publications and negotiates the contracts with the publisher.
3.3. ESA journals shall have an Editor or Editors, appointed by the Executive Committee. The Editors shall be appointed after an application process.
3.4. The Editorial Board of each ESA journal shall be composed of the Editor(s) of that journal and other Editorial Board members. The Executive Committee appoints the Editorial Board for a term of no longer than five years on the recommendation of the Editor(s).
3.5. The Editor(s) of each of the ESA journals shall be responsible for the editorial management of the publication. The Editor(s) shall have the authority to appoint special issue editors as they may deem necessary. Each Editor must work within the policies established and within the budget set by the Executive Committee.
3.6. The Editor(s) of each publication shall have the right to reject any paper or other communication that is submitted for publication.
3.7. Publication of official news and notes, and matters pertaining to the business of the Association such as The European Sociologist and the ESA website shall be published under the direction of the Executive Committee.
3.8. Financial transactions, payments or monetary transfers with ESA funds related to ESA publications shall go via ESA accounts.
4. Research Networks
4.1 The Executive Committee decides in its budget on the allocation of financial support to Research Networks’ activities during the two-year term between the conferences, with a minimum equivalent to the total amount of RN-membership fees to each Research Network. The maximum allocation for each two-year period is based on the number of registered members in each Research Network, plus a funding amount to be decided by the Executive Committee. The maximum amount shall be communicated to the RN coordinators as soon as the Executive Committee has decided on its budget; at the latest by the end of December in their first half year of the term. The Research Networks can carry-over unused membership fees to the next funding period. The Research Networks cannot carry-over unused funding amounts for the next funding period.
4.2. Eligible expenses for Research Network activities are costs of organising mid-term conferences, workshops for PhD students, and other meetings, publication and communication costs and other necessary expenses that serve the goals of the ESA. Travel costs for RN Coordinators and other Board members are not eligible.
4.3. The use of these allocations is based on applications by the Research Network Coordinator to the Chair of the Research Network Council. Each event for which funding is applied for requires a separate application, also in cases where events are organised consecutively. Applications have to be submitted until the deadline set by the RN Council Chair. The allocation decision requires that the mandatory reports on activities and finances have been delivered. Two or more Research Networks can apply for financial support together. A template for applications is provided on the ESA website.
The application shall include:
- A budget for the use of the requested funds.
- Specification for the planned event, including a draft call for papers, description of the purpose, venue, invited speakers, fee structure and dates.
- A description of the Programme Committee, the Local Organising Committee and the host institution or organisation of the planned event.
4.4. Applications for funding are evaluated jointly by the Chair of the Research Network Council and the other members of the Executive Committee. Criteria to evaluate applications include:
- Clarity of the application
- Relevance of the theme of the planned event to ESA members
- Proportionality between planned event and planned budget
- Compliance with ‘eligible expenses’ requirements
- Provision of discount for conference fee (if applicable) for ESA members.
4.5. The Research Networks can use their financial allocations for payments against receipts for eligible expenses. The receipts have to be kept for a period of 10 years and shown to the ESA upon request. In exceptional circumstances, the ESA can also be invoiced directly by service providers. Institutional bank accounts are to be used whenever possible. Advances can be paid towards specified expenses within the limit of the total RN allocation for the two-year period.
4.6. ESA Research Networks have a RN section on the ESA homepage for continued contact and intellectual interchange between their members. RNs organise themselves, but could keep up their activities by:
- Communicating relevant information among their members through an RN email list.
- Updating their RN section on the ESA homepage. If a RN has its own website it must be linked to the main ESA website. The ESA RN section should contain the most relevant information to secure the institutional memory.
- Establishing an RN Newsletter that can also be distributed through the ESA website.
- Organising a midterm RN Conference, seminar or other RN activities.
- Making joint publications such as edited books or special journal issues e.g. based on papers presented at an ESA conference, a midterm conference or other RN activities.
4.7. The outgoing Board of each Research Network shall prepare reports on activities and finances during its term of office, and present them to the Business Meeting. The final version of the report shall be delivered to the Executive Committee by the end of the two-year-period when the board’s term ends. ESA provides a template for the report on its website.
The activity report shall include the following:
- the names and contact details of the Coordinator, Vice-Coordinator and other Board members who were in office during the past term,
- description of RN paper sessions and other activities undertaken at the ESA conference,
- description of other RN activities, e.g. any RN midterm conferences, seminars or workshops held, publishing or other dissemination activities, number of issues of newsletters produced, etc., and
- a report on the use of ESA financial support in the form of membership fees and application-based support; this report should also mention how much funding is a carry-over from the previous funding period.
4.8. The Board elected in the Business Meeting must present a report to the chair of the Council of Research Networks via the ESA Office no later than eight weeks after it was elected.
The report shall include the following:
- A list of the names and contact details of the current Coordinator, Vice-Coordinator and other Board members.
- A plan of activities of the Research Network for the two-year term.
5. Voting procedures of Research Network positions
5.1 The RN Coordinator, Vice-Coordinator and RN board members are elected at the RN Business Meeting. Only registered ESA members can vote and stand for RN election, but others have the right to speak. The Board members other than the Coordinator and Vice-Coordinator shall have clearly defined roles such as Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster, Newsletter Editor etc. to be decided by the Board. Roles may be combined.
5.2 If for any reason a RN Coordinator is unable to carry out the functions as Coordinator, the Vice-Coordinator will function as new Coordinator and the Board will appoint a new functioning Vice-Coordinator among themselves. The new functioning RN Coordinator shall notify the Chair of the Research Networks Council about the changes in the Research Network. If for any reason a RN Vice-Coordinator is unable to carry out the functions as Vice-Coordinator, the board will appoint a new functioning Vice-Coordinator among themselves.
6. Voting procedure for the election of the Chair of the Council of Research Networks
6.1 The Council of Research Networks elects a Chair and a Vice-Chair at the Council meeting of the biennial ESA conference for the next two-year term that starts at the General Assembly. The Chair prepares and presides the Council meetings and represents the Research Networks as a regular member of the Executive Committee. Whenever the Chair is unable to fulfil the Chair’s functions the Vice-Chair takes over. The Nomination Committee of the ESA nominates minimum two and maximum five candidates after consultation with the Research Networks. A candidate shall have coordinated an ESA Research Network in the past. Candidates have the opportunity to present themselves at the Council meeting, in person or through remote connection.
6.2 The Chair and a Vice-Chair are elected by a majority vote of those present with the right to vote. The vote shall be taken by a secret ballot. The candidate with the most votes will be elected as Chair, and the candidate who comes second will be elected as Vice-Chair. In case of a tie a second vote will be taken.
6.3 The election procedure will be implemented by the Chair of the ESA Nomination Committee.
6.4 A quorum of at least one half of the Research Networks’ representatives is necessary for the Council of Research Networks to reach decisions. Decisions shall be taken by a majority vote of those present and voting. The vote at a meeting shall be taken by show of hands unless a member requires a secret ballot. In case of a tie, the Chair shall have a deciding vote when the ballot is not secret. When secret, a second vote will be organised.
7. Voting procedure for election of the Chair of The Council of National Associations
7.1 The Council of National Associations elects a Chair and a Vice-Chair at the Council meeting of the biennial ESA conference for the next two-year term that starts at the General Assembly. The Chair prepares and presides the Council meetings and represents the Council of National Associations as a regular member of the Executive Committee. Whenever the Chair is unable to fulfil the Chair’s functions the Vice-Chair takes over. The Nomination Committee of the ESA nominates minimum two and maximum five candidates after consultation with the National Associations.
7.2. The Chair and a Vice-Chair are elected by a majority vote of those present with the right to vote. The vote shall be taken by a secret ballot. The candidate with the most votes will be elected as Chair, and the candidate who comes second will be elected as Vice-Chair. In case of a tie a second vote will be organised.
7.3 The election procedure will be implemented by the Chair of the ESA Nomination Committee.
7.4 A quorum of at least one half of the members is necessary for the Council of National Associations to reach decisions other than elections. Decisions shall be taken by a majority vote of those present and voting. The vote at a meeting shall be taken by show of hands unless a member requires a secret ballot. In case of a tie, the Chair shall have a deciding vote when the ballot is not secret. When secret, a second vote will be taken.
8. Communications and Public Relations
8.1. The European Sociological Association publishes The European Sociologist.
8.2. The Association maintains a website. The website includes contact details of all individual and institutional members accessible to them only.
8.3. The Executive Committee appoints the editor of the ESA website and of The European Sociologist.
8.4. ESA members can advertise job opportunities, call for papers, conferences and new books publications for free on the ESA website.
9. PhD activities
The Executive Committee may organise a PhD workshop in the context of the ESA Conferences, and a summer school between the conferences. The Executive Committee appoints a Committee for Postgraduate Activities and its Chair from among the Executive Committee members, to execute the workshop and the summer school. The Committee is responsible for the preparation of all decisions related to Postgraduate activities for the Executive Committee.
10. Sub-Committees of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee appoints the following Sub-Committees from among Members of the Executive Committee: Publications, Nominations, Postgraduate Activities and Conference Programme. The President may appoint other Sub-Committees and their Chairs from among Members of the Executive Committee, and other working groups for specific tasks. The Chairs of all working groups and Sub-Committees are responsible for preparing relevant decisions in their domain and reporting on them to the Executive Committee.
11. ESA policy on travel expenses
Unless agreed otherwise in advance, ESA reimburses travel expenses that cover the cheapest feasible and reasonable method of transportation, reasonable accommodation expenses and other expenses. ESA encourages sustainable forms of transportation for members of the Executive Committee. Rules and restrictions for reimbursement for the Executive Committee and invited speakers are set out in the ESA code of practice for reimbursement.
These Bylaws become effective after the General Assembly has approved them.