The Austrian Political Science Association (AuPSA) By-Laws
as of November 2022
§ 1 – NAME AND REGISTERED OFFICE
The name of the association is the “Austrian Political Science Association” and its headquarters are in Vienna, Austria. Its activities extend to the federal territory of the Republic of Austria as well as to other countries within the framework of international cooperation.
§ 2 – PURPOSE
The association is a non-profit organisation, and pursuant to the following objectives in particular:
(1) the promotion of political science research within and outside of universities in Austria;
(2) representing the interests of political scientists in Austria;
(3) active participation in research and higher education policy debates and reform processes;
(4) providing an international platform for Austrian political science;
(5) enhancing the profile of political science in the public eye.
§ 3 – POWERS
The association has the following powers, which may be exercised only in promoting
(1) to organise events that serve the objectives set out in § 2;
(2) to publish, promote or distribute information, in particular, the Austrian Journal of Political Science (AJPS);
(3) awarding and carrying out research projects;
(4) announcement and awarding of awards, bursaries, and scholarships.
§ 4 – MEANS
The means to achieve the purpose stated in § 2 are formed by:
(1) the collection of membership fees;
(2) subsidies and gifts from natural and legal persons;
(3) the proceeds of any assets as well as from other income of the association such as donations, collections and own events.
§ 5 – FUNCTIONING OF THE ASSOCIATION
Society sees the democratization of all social areas as a desirable goal. It will therefore endeavour to ensure the broadest possible participation of all members in all matters.
§ 6 – MEMBERS
The members of the society are:
a) ordinary members
b) supporting members
c) honorary members
(2) Any natural person who is qualified based on their scientific training or activity, who supports the goals of the Society and who can be expected to actively participate may become a full member.
(3) Any natural or legal person who is willing to promote the purpose of the association can become a supporting member. Supporting members do not have to meet the conditions for full membership.
(4) Persons who have rendered special services to the association and its goals may be appointed honorary members by the General Assembly at the request of the Executive Board.
§ 7 – COMMENCEMENT AND TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
(1) The Board of Directors shall decide on the admission of new members.
(2) Applications for admission shall be submitted by the applicant members to the General Secretariat.
(3) The board is obliged to keep an up-to-date list of members and to make it available to the member at the request of a member.
(4) If the Board rejects the admission of a member, the General Assembly shall make a final decision at the request of a member.
(5) Membership shall be terminated by death, loss of legal personality (in the case of legal entities), voluntary resignation and expulsion.
(6) Voluntary resignation can only take place at the end of the calendar year.
a) The exclusion of a member is only possible by the General Assembly, except in the case mentioned in §7b, and requires a two-thirds majority.
b) If a member fails to comply with their obligation to pay the fixed membership fee in the budget year over 4 years, the Board of Directors may decide to expel them by a two-thirds majority. The General Assembly shall be informed of such exclusions at the following meeting.
(8) The awarding of honorary membership requires a unanimous resolution of the Board of Directors and the approval of the General Assembly.
§ 8 – RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF MEMBERS
(1) Every ordinary member has the right to vote and to stand for election as well as the right to propose motions and vote at the General Assembly. Honorary members have the same rights as ordinary members. Supporting members have only an advisory vote in the General Assembly. Otherwise, all members have the right to make use of the association’s facilities and to make use of the benefits available to the members of the association.
(2) At least one-tenth of the members may request the Board to convene an extraordinary General Assembly.
(3) The members are to be informed by the Board of Directors about the activities and financial management of the association at each General Assembly. If at least one-tenth of the members so request, stating reasons, the Executive Board shall provide the members concerned with such information within four weeks.
(4) The members are to be informed by the Executive Board about the audited financial statements (accounting). If this is done at the General Assembly, the auditors must be involved.
(5) The members must pay the fixed membership fee in the budget year. They must support the association, its tasks and interests to the best of their ability.
§ 9 – ORGANS OF THE ASSOCIATION
The organs of the association are:
(1) the General Assembly
(2) the Board of Directors
(3) the Auditors
(4) the Arbitral Tribunal
(5) the General Secretariat
§ 10 – GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly is the “Mitgliederversammlung” as detailed in the Association Act. The Annual General Assembly takes place once a year and must be convened in writing by the Executive Board at least four weeks in advance. Legal entities that are members of the association are each represented by an authorized person.
(2) All members must be informed in writing, either by post or by e-mail (to the residential or e-mail address provided by the member to the association) about the place, time, and draft of the agenda at least four weeks before the General Assembly is held. Any motions by ordinary members must be submitted in writing to the General Secretariat of the Society at least 14 days before the General Assembly. Such requests shall be included in the draft agenda. However, the agenda may be amended and supplemented by a two-thirds majority of those present.
(3) An Extraordinary General Assembly shall be held at
a) resolution of the Board of Directors or the Annual General Assembly,
b) a written request from at least one-tenth of the members;
c) request of the auditors (§ 21 para. 5 first sentence VereinsG);
d) decision of the auditors (§ 21 para. 5 second sentence VereinsG);
e) decision of a court-appointed curator within four weeks.
(4) Each General Assembly shall constitute a quorum if it has been duly advertised and at least 20 ordinary members, including at least one elected member of the Executive Board, are present. The General Assembly shall also constitute a quorum if less than 20 ordinary members are present half an hour after the scheduled start of the meeting.
5. Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of votes unless this Statute provides for a different majority. In the event of a tie, the motion shall be deemed to have been rejected. Motions to amend the Articles of Association of the association and to dissolve the association require a four-fifths majority.
(6) The Chairman of the Management Board of the association, or in the event of them being unable to attend, their elected deputy, shall chair the General Assembly. If they are also unable to attend, the oldest member of the board present in years shall preside over the General Assembly.
(7) Minutes shall be kept of the General Assembly, which shall contain those present, the quorum and all resolutions of the General Assembly.
§ 11 – TASKS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly is responsible for:
(1) Passing resolutions on the rules of procedure of the General Assembly;
(2) The election of auditors and election of board members;
(3) Resolution on the guidelines for the activities of the association as well as on all questions submitted to the General Assembly by the Board of Directors or one member – with the support of two other members.
(4) Appointment of honorary members based on a request by the Executive Board;
(5) Final decision on admission and decision on the expulsion of members, except if a member fails to comply with their obligation to pay the fixed membership fee in the budget year over 4 years;
(6) Receipt of the report of the Board of Directors and the auditors and adoption of resolutions on it;
(7) Discharge of the Executive Board;
(8) Amendment of the statutes and resolution on the dissolution of the association.
§ 12 – THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(1) The Board of Directors shall consist of the Chairperson, their deputy, the Treasurer, the Secretary General and a maximum of eight other members. Members of the Board of Directors must be full members.
(2) The Board of Directors shall be elected by the ordinary members by postal vote (§ 13ff), which shall take place on the occasion of a General Assembly. He shall remain in office until the Annual General Assembly after next. The individual members of the Executive Board may be re-elected for a third consecutive term of office only for the functions of the Chairperson, their deputy or the Treasurer; further, direct re-election is also inadmissible in these cases. This paragraph shall apply subject to the provisions of § 19.
(3) The Chairperson chairs the meetings of the Board of Directors and represents the association externally.
(4) The meetings of the Board of Directors shall be convened by the Chairperson or, if the Chairperson is unable to attend, by their deputy. The Board of Directors has a quorum if at least three members are present. Resolutions are passed by a simple majority of votes.
(5) Even without a General Assembly or meeting of the Executive Board, a resolution is possible if the majority of the members of the Executive Board declares their consent to this resolution in writing (handwritten, by fax or by e-mail). This type of circular resolution can be initiated by the chairperson. The deadline for the last possible casting of the vote shall be determined during the introduction. The circular resolution is carried out by the chairperson or, on their behalf, by the Secretary General of the ÖGPW. The members of the Board of Management will be informed immediately of the nominal result of each circular resolution; in addition, it must be noted in the minutes of the next board meeting with the date.
(6) All ordinary members have the right to participate in the deliberations of the Executive Board as listeners. For this purpose, the General Secretariat must provide information on the time and place of the next board meeting at any time.
(7) If necessary, the Board of Directors may, with a 2/3 majority, co-opt other ordinary members of the association into the Board of Directors, but their number may not exceed four. Any co-optations must be notified to all members in writing as soon as possible.
(8) If the chairperson, their deputy or the treasurer resigns prematurely from the board, the board shall entrust another member of the board with this function.
(9) If, up to three months before the next ordinary General Assembly, at least more than half of the elected members of the board of directors resign after the election of the board or if the board decides to do so, a new election must already take place on the occasion of this General Assembly.
§ 13 – ELECTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(1) The ordinary members shall elect the Board of Directors from among their number by postal vote. All members who are ordinary members, eight weeks before the General Assembly on the occasion of which the election takes place, are entitled to vote actively and as candidates.
(2) To carry out the election, the Executive Board shall appoint an election committee with a four-fifths majority. It consists of a chairperson and four other full members. The members of the election committee must be ÖGPW members, but may not be members of the board and may not stand as candidates in the election.
(3) The Executive Board shall notify all ordinary members in writing of the date of the General Assembly and the composition of the Election Committee no later than three months before the General Assembly on the occasion of which the election takes place. At the same time, members must be informed about the election procedure and the possibility of candidacies.
(4) The Executive Board shall submit an election proposal with at least 12 candidates in accordance with lit. (a) to (f) to the Election Committee in good time.
(a) At least one of the persons listed shall be nominated for the function of the Chairperson and at least one other person for their deputy. One of the two candidates must work at a political science institution.
(b) At least one other person must be nominated for the position of treasurer.
(C) The remaining persons on the electoral list shall stand as members of the Executive Board. According to § 12 (1), a maximum of eight members are to be elected, the exact number is determined by the board on the occasion of the preparation of the election proposal.
(d) The proportion of women and men among the candidates as a whole must be at least 40% each.
(e) The nomination must include candidates from institutions in at least three federal states.
(f) The nomination should take into account institutional anchoring and status as equally as possible.
(5) In addition to the Executive Board, other institutions or individuals who are members of the ÖGPW at the time of nomination may also nominate further candidates in accordance with lit (a) to (f).
(a) The nomination must be made in the form of individual nominations or lists of candidates.
(b) Lists of candidates must comply with the provisions of paragraph (4) (a) to (f).
(C) A declaration of consent from all candidates must be submitted at the same time as the nomination.
(d) Nominations must be received by the Election Committee no later than six weeks before the General Assembly at which the election is held.
(e) It is the responsibility of the Election Committee to examine the nominations received and to integrate them into an overall list of all persons standing for election. The provisions of paragraph (4) (a) to (f) must be taken into account. The total number of candidates for the management functions (Chair, Deputy and Treasurer) is limited to 6 each, and the total number of candidates for the other board members may not exceed 20. In the case of a larger number of nominations, the date of receipt of the proposal and, depending on this, the criteria of paragraph (4) (a) to (f) are decisive.
(f) Self-candidacies formally correspond to individual nominations. Paragraph (5) shall apply.
§ 14 – VOTING PROCEDURE
(1) The Election Committee shall review the proposals received for compliance with the rules and shall draw up an overall electoral list from all nominations received in good time, taking into account § 13 (4) (a) to (f).
(2) The Election Committee shall draw up a ballot paper, which shall consist of four sections:
(a) The first section shall be for the election of the Chairperson. In it, all candidates must be listed in random order and voters must be given the opportunity to vote for exactly one candidate by ticking a box.
(b) The second section is for the election of the Vice-Chair. In it, all candidates must be listed in random order and voters must be given the opportunity to vote for exactly one candidate by ticking a box.
(C) The third section is for the election of the treasurer. In it, all candidates are to be listed in random order and voters are to be given the opportunity to vote for exactly one candidate by ticking a box.
(d) The fourth section serves to elect the other members of the Executive Board. In it, all candidates are to be listed in random order and voters are to be given the opportunity to vote for a maximum of as many candidates as there are positions on the board to be filled.
(3) No later than four weeks before the General Assembly, the Election Committee shall send the ballot paper and a uniform election envelope to the ordinary members. All ballot papers must bear the AuPSA stamp and the signature of the chairperson and another member of the election committee.
(4) A vote shall be deemed to have been validly cast if it is clearly recognizable for which candidates the member wishes to cast the vote and the maximum number of votes per section has not been exceeded. In this respect, the validity of the vote shall be assessed separately for each section of the ballot paper.
(5) The members participating in the election must hand in the original ballot paper in a sealed original envelope by post or in person to a member of the election committee by the beginning of the counting of votes, which may begin at the earliest five hours before the General Assembly.
§ 15 – DETERMINATION OF THE ELECTION RESULTS
(1) The Election Committee shall determine the election result immediately before the start of the General Assembly. Special care must be taken in the counting of votes in order to avoid any violation of the secrecy of the ballot.
(2) The person who has received the most valid votes shall be elected as chairperson. In the event of a tie, the decision shall be made by drawing lots.
(3) The person who has received the most valid votes shall be elected as Vice-Chairperson. In the event of a tie, the decision shall be made by drawing lots.
(4) The person who has received the most valid votes shall be elected as treasurer. In the event of a tie, the decision shall be made by drawing lots.
(5) For the allocation of the mandates intended for the other members of the Executive Board, the candidates shall be ranked according to the votes received, whereby the candidate with the highest number of votes shall be in first place and the other candidates shall be ranked according to decreasing number of votes. In the event of a tie, the order shall be decided by lot. The first candidates according to this ranking who together meet the provisions in §13 para (4) lit (d) and (e) and with which the maximum number of mandates to be filled is reached shall be deemed to have been elected.
(6) The Chairperson of the Election Committee shall notify the General Assembly of the election result.
(7) If the election does not lead to a result in accordance with the Articles of Association, the Executive Board shall convene an extraordinary General Assembly and conduct a new election in accordance with the provisions of this status. If this election also does not lead to a result in accordance with the Articles of Association, the Extraordinary General Assembly elects the chairperson, deputy chairperson, treasurer and the other members of the board by a simple majority. Until the election of a board of directors, the existing board of directors manages the business.
§ 16 – TASKS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The board of directors is the “governing body” within the meaning of the Association Act. It implements the resolutions of the General Assembly and carries out the ongoing work in line with the objectives of the association. All copies and announcements of the association shall be made by the Chairperson and one of the members of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is also responsible for:
(1) preparation of the annual estimate;
(2) convening and preparing the General Assembly;
(3) Decide on all matters necessary for the day-to-day management of the association;
(4) Decision on the exclusion of members who fail to comply with their obligation to pay the fixed membership fee in the budget year over a period of 4 years;
(5) Decision on the financial management and structure of the AJPS as well as the number, composition and function of all AJPS committees;
(6) Decision to fill the position of Secretary-General either by election from among its members or by public announcement;
(7) Admission, termination, dismissal of employees of the association as well as the conclusion of contracts for work and services;
(8) Passing resolutions on all matters, insofar as they are not reserved for other bodies in accordance with the statutes. The Board of Directors may appoint the Secretary General to manage certain business of the association. The Management Board adopts rules of procedure for itself, which also contain the detailed provisions on the financial management of the association.
§ 17 – AUDITORS
The General Assembly elects two auditors for a term of two years. The auditors are responsible for the ongoing management control and the review of the financial statements. For this purpose, the board of directors must submit all documents of the association to them. They shall report on the results of their examination to the General Assembly.
§ 18 – THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL
The arbitral tribunal is an “arbitration body” within the meaning of the Associations Act and not an arbitral tribunal pursuant to §§ 577 et seq. of the German Code of Civil Procedure. All disputes between members arising from the association relationship shall be decided by the arbitral tribunal, which consists of three persons. The arbitral tribunal shall be constituted in such a way that each party to the dispute shall nominate an arbitrator to the Board within eight days of notification of a request to this effect; the two arbitrators appointed in this way agree on a third referee as chairman. In the event of disagreement, the Board of Directors shall decide, subject to an appeal to the General Assembly. The members of the arbitral tribunal may not belong to any body, with the exception of the General Assembly, whose activities are the subject of the dispute. The arbitral tribunal shall take its decisions by a majority vote. The findings of the arbitral tribunal cannot be appealed.
§ 19 – THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT
The Secretary General is either elected by the Board from its ranks or appointed after a public announcement in accordance with the resolution of the Board. The Secretary General may be remunerated if the financial resources of the Society allow it. The Executive Board decides on the remuneration of the General Secretary, taking into account the expediency for the achievement of objectives in accordance with §2 as well as effectiveness and efficiency for the fulfillment of the association’s tasks. The Secretary General manages the day-to-day business of the association. An appointed Secretary General is co-opted into the Executive Board and is subordinate to the instructions of the Executive Board. The provision of § 12 para. 2 regarding the restriction of mandate does not apply to him/her. Every full member shall be allowed to inspect the documents of the Secretary-General.
§ 20 – SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS (SIGs)
(1) Special Interest Groups (shortened to SIGs) may be established by the members for political science discourse and research on individual subject areas of the discipline with the consent of the Executive Board. The objectives of the SIG must correspond to the general objectives of the ÖGPW. In any case, financial sovereignty remains with the Executive Board.
(2) The SIGs shall keep the Executive Board informed of their activities on an ongoing basis upon request. A spokesperson must be appointed for this purpose.
(3) SIGs may be dissolved by their members or by the Executive Board. In the event of dissolution by the Executive Board, the General Assembly shall make a final decision at the request of at least five members.
§ 21 – DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
The association shall be deemed to have been dissolved if 4/5 of the ordinary members present vote in favour of it in a general assembly convened specifically for this purpose. The association’s assets are donated to a charitable purpose.
Current AuPSA Statute (Last amendment at the General Assembly on 24 November 2022).
A NOTE ON LANGUAGE VERSIONS
In case of dispute, the original German language version shall prevail.