Section Bylaws

The Democracy and Autocracy Section of the APSA exists to promote the comparative analysis of the origins, processes, and outcomes of democratization among nations of all world regions, spur communication among political scientists whose scholarship focuses on particular world regions, and stimulate involvement within the APSA of political scientists working in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, East and South Asia, Western Europe, and the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Article 1: Membership

Section 1: Membership in the Comparative Democratization Section is open to all members and associate members of the American Political Science Association who indicate an interest in doing so by paying annual Section dues to the Association.

Section 2: Business meetings of the membership will be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association. An announcement of the meeting will be included in the program distributed by the Association.

Section 3: Annual section dues will be established at the Annual Business Meeting of the Section and will continue in effect until changed by majority vote at a subsequent Annual Business Meeting. The amount of the dues will be recommended to the Annual Business Meeting by the Executive Committee.

Article II: Officers

Section 1: The Section will be governed by an Executive Committee of six Section members. The Executive Committee will consist of (1) a Chair, (2) a Vice Chair, (3) a Secretary, (4) a Treasurer, (5) a Program Chair for the forthcoming annual APSA meetings, and, 6) a Newsletter Editor. If established the Newsletter Editor shall be ex officio, non-voting members of the Executive Committee.

Section 2: The duties and responsibilities of the officers shall be as follows:

  1. The Chair will (i) designate a Program Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, to organize panels for the annual meeting of the association, ii) represent the Section as requested by the Executive Committee in dealings with other academic associations and organizations; (iii) schedule and preside at the Annual Business Meeting and meetings of the Executive Committee; (iv) serve as liaison between the Section and the APSA as a whole; (v) and otherwise undertake such as may be requested by the Executive Committee or required in the interests of the Section.
  2. The Vice Chair will assist and advise the Chairperson in all the responsibilities assigned to that office. The Vice Chair will preside at the Annual Business Meeting and the Executive Committee in the absence of the Chair and succeed to the office of the Chair in the event of an unscheduled vacancy.
  3. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping minutes of meetings of the Section and the Executive Committee and for managing the Section’s listserve and website subject to consultation with the Executive Committee.
  4. The Treasurer shall be responsible for submitting an annual financial report to the Executive Director of the Association.
  5. The Program Chair shall be responsible for organizing the Section’s panels for the annual meetings of the Association.
  6. The Newsletter Editor is responsible for the publication of the Section Newsletter. S/he will appoint and oversee a small staff to assist him/her as needed for this purpose, working in cooperation with the institution hosting the Newsletter and its staff.

Section 3: Nominations and elections for the Executive Committee will be conducted electronically before the Annual Business Meeting under the following provisions:

A1. The Executive Committee, other than the Newsletter Editor and the APSA Program Chair, will be elected by electronic secret ballot before the Annual Business meeting to staggered two year terms with two being elected in even numbered years and two in odd numbered years. The APSA Program Chair will be appointed annually by the Chair with the advice and counsel of the Executive Committee. The Newsletter Editor shall be solicited by nominations among the membership, and negotiated by the Executive Committee with that individual, for a term of up to four years, and renewable.

A2. For any office for which for which we have 3 or more candidates, we will use approval voting with plurality; For any office for which we have 2 or less candidates, we will use simple majority.

A3. The terms of office begin and end with the Annual Business Meeting elections. Except as provided in Section 3C, below, terms are not renewable

B1. The Executive Committee shall solicit nominations from the membership including self-nominations for each open office in February, and circulate ballots to the members electronically no later than March of each year.

B2 The Executive Committee normally should solicit nominations for no fewer than two or no more than three individuals as candidates for each position. The membership and Executive Committee will work to ensure that nominations reflect and are inclusive of a variety of different characteristics and backgrounds of section members, including race, ethnicity, actual or perceived gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, region of the country, country of origin, type of institution, professional interest and methodological orientation.

C1. To establish staggered terms, at the first Annual Business meeting, two officers other than the APSA Program Chair the Newsletter Editor, and the Electronic Communications Director will be elected two one-year terms and two to two-year terms. Those elected to one-year terms may seek one additional two-year term in the office to which they have been elected. Determination of which officers initially serve two and one year terms shall be by mutual agreement of the officers or, failing that, by lot. The first Newsletter Editor may be named by the Executive Committee, subject to confirmation at the next Annual Business Meeting.

C2. The Secretary shall issue a reminder about the Annual Business Meeting at least two months prior to the meeting by email, via the Newsletter or both. The meeting notice should be included in the issue PS that immediately precedes the meetings.

Article III: Amendments to the By-Laws

Section 1: Amendments to these by-laws may be proposed at the Annual Business Meeting. An amendment approved at that time by majority vote of those attending the Meeting, shall be submitted for approval to the Section membership via electronic ballot as soon as possible following the Meeting. Amendments will be deemed enacted if approved by two-thirds of the members voting electronically.

Section 2: These by-laws shall become effective upon their approval by two-thirds of the voting members.