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Constitution of the North American Society for Social Philosophy

Article I: Purpose

The purpose of the North American Society for Social Philosophy shall be to facilitate discussion between social philosophers on all topics of interest, primarily by sponsoring conferences and publications.

Article II: Officers and Executive Committee

Section 1: Composition

The officers of the Society shall be the President, the Vice President, the immediate past President, the Treasurer, and the Archivist.  The Society shall be governed by an Executive Committee consisting of the officers, the two co-chairs of the each of the Divisions, and the editors of The Journal of Social Philosophy and Social Philosophy Today.

Section 2: Responsibilities of the Officers

The President of the Society shall chair the Executive Committee and Business meetings at the annual International Social Philosophy Conference (ISPC), shall appoint the Nominating Committee, and shall keep its members apprised of Society business between and leading up to the ISPC, including mailing a business meeting agenda to members of the Executive Committee.  The Vice President of the Society shall serve in the absence of the President, and shall accede to the office of President at the end of the President’s term.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the funds of the Society and shall present an annual report to the Executive Committee.  The Archivist shall receive annual reports from the Divisional Co-chairs and shall present an annual report for the Executive Committee.

Section 3: Election of Officers and Terms of Office

The President, with the advice of the Executive Committee, shall appoint a Nominating Committee at least at least 9 months prior to the ISPC, consisting of 3 Members of the society.  Any member of the Society is eligible to serve on the nominating committee.  The nominating committee shall nominate persons to fill all positions in the Society, including officers every four years and members of standing committees and the co-chairs for all Divisions of the Society each year.  In addition to nominations from the Nominating Committee, any member may nominate any member for office at the Business Meeting.  Election of officers and standing committee members shall take place by e-mail ballot.  The normal term of office for all officers shall be 4 years.   The President and Vice President may not succeed themselves in office.

Section 4: Removal from Office and Unexpired Terms

The Executive Committee shall be empowered, on the basis of a two-thirds vote, to remove a person from an office due to failure to perform the duties of the office.  The Executive Committee shall appoint persons to fill any unexpired term of office in the Society.

Article III: Committees

Section 1: Standing Committees

The Standing Committees of the Society shall be the Book Award Committee, Graduate Student Awards Committee, Nominating Committee, and the Program Committee.

Book Award Committee: The Book Award Committee shall collect nominated books copyrighted in the year since the previous conference, review them, select the winner, and provide commentaries and questions at the Book Awards Session of the ISPC, which shall then be published in SPT.  The Committee shall consist of 3 Members who are elected at the Business Meeting, one of whom shall be from current committee.  The term of office is 1 year, and members may succeed themselves.

Graduate Student Awards Committee: The Graduate Student Awards Committee shall read the submitted graduate student papers and choose up to three for awards to be presented at the ISPC. The Committee shall consist of 3 Members who are elected at the Business Meeting, one of whom shall be from current committee.  The term of office is 1 year, and members may succeed themselves.

Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee shall be appointed as described in Article II, Section 3, and shall nominate persons to fill all positions in the Society, including candidates for membership in the other standing committees.

Program Committee: The Program Committee shall compose the Call for Papers, accept and review abstracts, and put together the program for the ISPC. All tasks shall be completed electronically. The Committee shall consist of 3 Members who are elected at the Business Meeting, one of whom shall be from current committee.  The term of office is 1 year, and members may succeed themselves.

Section 2: Ad hoc Committees

The Executive Committee may, at its discretion, appoint ad hoc committees and task forces to address specific concerns of the Society.

Article IV: Membership

Membership shall be open to all interested persons and shall include a subscription to Social Philosophy Today. The Executive Committee shall establish dues for membership in the Society and can establish a special assessment no more than one time between annual international conferences.  All persons presenting papers at the annual ISPC shall become Members of the society.  Members in good standing are eligible to vote for all matters in the society.  “Members in good standing” designates all members who have paid dues in the previous two years.  Members are expected to pay dues every year; a 1 year grace period shall be allowed.  Members who are delinquent on their dues may not serve as officers and must rectify accounts with the society treasurer as soon as possible.

Article V: Meetings

Section 1: Annual Meeting

The Society shall meet in Conference at least once each year, usually in the summer.  The Executive Committee shall hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the Conference.  A business meeting of full membership shall also be part of the annual Conference.  The date and location of future conferences shall be designated at the Executive Committee meeting of the ISPC.

Section 2: Business Meeting

All Members of the Society may attend the business meeting and vote on issues raised.  Normally, the meeting shall cover a standard agenda including:

  1. Theme for subsequent annual conference
  2. Constitution of program committee for subsequent conference
  3. Local Host(s) for subsequent annual conference
  4. Membership recruitment
  5. Treasury report
  6. New Business

Article VI: Divisions of the Society

The Society shall be composed of four Divisions – Eastern, Central, and Pacific for the United States, plus a Canadian division — each of which shall hold an annual conference at which at least one paper shall be presented.  The Divisional Conferences of the Society may be held in conjunction with other professional meetings.  Each Division shall be represented by 2 co-chairs, who shall be selected from among the Members at the annual Executive Committee meeting at the ISPC.  Co-chairs shall be from the Division that they represent, shall serve a term on three-year, and may succeed themselves in office.  The co-chairs of each Division shall report on their annual conferences at the Executive Committee Meeting of the ISPC.

Article VII: Publications

Section 1: The Journal of Social Philosophy

The Society founded The Journal of Social Philosophy (JSP), and is published by an outside publisher.  The journal shall operate under the guidance of its Editor, along with an international Editorial Board, and aim to publish high quality articles in social philosophy and related fields.  It shall make use of a system of anonymous peer review for submitted articles, and also publish occasional special issues, with guest co-editors.  Each issue of the journal shall carry a page devoted to information about the Society, the content of which shall be provided by the President of the Society. The appointment of the Editor of JSP shall take place as follows.  An ad hoc committee composed of the President and Past President of the Society and the current Editor shall solicit nominations for a new editor from the journal’s Editorial Board (and other sources deemed relevant).  From these nominations, the Committee shall propose a new editor to the Editorial Board for majority approval.  Upon such approval, the Committee shall recommend the new editor to the publisher for its approval. The Editor shall make an annual report to the publisher, as well as to the Executive Committee, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee.

Section 2: Social Philosophy Today

The Society founded Social Philosophy Today (SPT), and is currently published by an outside publisher.  SPT shall be a peer-reviewed forum for the philosophical discussion of contemporary social issues. Each volume shall contain a selection of papers presented at the ISPC.  Each volume shall reflect the issues, content, and thematic organization of the ISPC meeting.  SPT is published the year after the conference, and Members of the society shall receive the current volume as a benefit of membership. The editor of SPT shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.  The Editor shall make an annual report to the Executive Committee, and serve as a member of the Executive Committee.

Article VIII: Ratification and Amendments

This Constitution shall become effective when approved first by at least two-thirds of the Executive Committee, followed by two-thirds of the membership of the Society in attendance at the annual business meeting, followed by approval in a referendum of at least two-thirds of the ballots cast by all Members through an electronic polling.  Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by any Member of the Society in good standing.  Ratification of any amendment requires approval by at least two-thirds of the entire membership of the Members in attendance at the Annual Conference followed by approval in a referendum of at least two-thirds of the ballots cast by all Members through an electronic polling.

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