Read the constitution below, or download a PDF version of the constitution here.
The World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) is a network of national and international associations and organizations that aims to promote worldwide communication and cooperation in anthropology.
Its primary objectives are:
- To promote the discipline of anthropology in an international context.
- To promote cooperation and the sharing of information among anthropologists worldwide.
- To promote jointly organized events of scientific debate and cooperation in research activities.
- To disseminate anthropological knowledge globally within both the academic and the public spheres.
Each member association and organization will undertake to designate and authorize one International Delegate, who will typically be - but does not have to be - the current president (or equivalent Chief Executive officer) of the association, to represent the association on the Council.
- The Council, made up of the international delegates of all the member associations and organizations, will be the decision-making body of the WCAA.
- Each International Delegate will be entitled and encouraged to vote, stand for elections, make suggestions and contribute to the activities of the WCAA as appropriate.
- Where voting is via email, votes must be cast within two weeks of being requested to do so. Any failure to vote in due time will be considered a technical abstention (rather than a formal abstention). Majority rules will apply to the votes that have been cast in due time, including formal abstentions, rather than to the total number of members eligible to vote. In elections and for making important decisions a caucus of at least two thirds of the members of the Council will be required.
- Apart from serving as representatives, the role of the International Delegates will also be to promote the exchange of information between the WCAA and their respective member associations or organizations.
- Each member association will also nominate an Alternative Contact Person to help ensure that vital communications are not missed during periods when an International delegate is not contactable. All communications to the International Delegate will also be copied to his or her alternate.
- Member associations must inform the WCAA each time a new President and/or International Delegate has been elected and provide contact details.
Two of the International Delegates will be elected by the Council to take on the roles of WCAA Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.
- The Chairperson will serve for a period of two years.
- The Deputy Chairperson will serve as the next Chairperson for a period of two years.
- A new Deputy Chairperson will be elected by a majority vote of two-thirds of the International Delegates in the WCAA’s biannual meetings or, if such a meeting cannot be held for any reason, by email vote.
- All international delegates and members of the Organizing Committee (see Article 5) will be entitled to nominate candidates or to self-nominate for election to any office within the WCAA, whenever there is a vacancy and an election.
An Organizing Committee made up of the WCAA Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and four other International Delegates from different world regions will be elected to ensure the efficient management of the WCAA’s business.
- The Organizing Committee supersedes and herewith replaces the earlier “Executive Secretariat” of the WCAA
- The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the WCAA (see Article 4) are simultaneously the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Organizing Committee
- The four other, ordinary members of the Organizing Committee will serve for a period of four years.
- Two ordinary members of the first Organizing Committee elected in 2008 will rotate off and be replaced in two years time (at the 2010 election), and thereafter, two ordinary members will rotate off and be replaced at every subsequent biannual election. The two longest serving ordinary members will normally rotate off first, unless another member chooses to step down instead.
- Office holders within the Organizing Committee, under the leadership of the Chairperson, are charged with the responsibility to advance the existing initiatives and administer the routine affairs of the WCAA, as well as providing leadership in proposing new initiatives and in facilitating effective WCAA responses to unforeseen internal issues, external requests or world events.
- The undesignated appointed member will be appointed first at the 2010 biennial meeting, with the appointment reconsidered every second biennial meeting thereafter.
- The appointed Treasurer will be appointed by the voting members of the Organizing Committee on the recommendation of the Chair.
- The Organizing Committee or its Chairperson do(es) not have authority to act or make decisions on behalf of the Council without the prior approval of at least a simple majority of international delegates. In some cases, as specified elsewhere in this constitution, a larger majority or unanimous support may be required.
- Any office holder within the WCAA can be relieved of his or her office at any time if at least four fellow members of the Organizing Committee OR a simple majority of International Delegates agree that it is necessary and in the best interest of the WCAA for this to be done. A motion supported by at least a) two members of the Organizing Committee, or b) four International Delegates, is required to initiate such proceedings.
Past members of the Council who wish to volunteer may continue to serve the WCAA as members of an Advisory Board for a period of three years.
- The Advisory Board may be consulted by the Organizing Committee as and when appropriate, and the opinions of its members reported to the Council.
Whenever appropriate, members of any of the WCAA associations and organizations will participate in the conferences of the other associations and organizations under the following terms:
- If membership is required to attend the conference, this is waived for members of the other associations.
- If members receive a discount on registration fees, that same discount is afforded to members of the other associations.
The President (or equivalent) and/or an International Delegate of member associations and organizations will be welcome to the other members’ regular conferences and, whenever appropriate, with the waving or subsidizing of registration fees.
Members of the WCAA will undertake to promote events aimed at showcasing the activities of other member associations and organizations in their regular conferences.
A WCAA website has been instituted by agreement among the founding members. One member of the Organizing Committee will be responsible for overseeing the development and maintenance of the website.
Members who have websites will
- prominently display their membership of the WCAA on their websites.
- undertake to create a link to the WCAA website.
- whenever possible, create links to the other associations’ and organizations’ websites.
Members will encourage debate on issues of relevance to anthropology and neighboring disciplines by such means as the organization of joint events (conferences, symposia, summer schools, etc.) by a number of member associations and organizations.
The WCAA may produce joint statements on issues of common relevance to its members. These have to be approved unanimously by all International Delegates who have responded within a period of two weeks after the matter has been tabled. Any formal abstentions should be noted in such statements.
Members will assist in the international exchange of information about research programs, researchers and research opportunities for students and professional researchers.
- Members will endeavor to promote and facilitate international networking by post-graduate research students.
Application for membership in the WCAA is open to all associations and organizations of anthropology.
- Associations and organizations who wish to join, do so in writing to the WCAA Chairperson describing their activities, enclosing their constitution and where relevant their code of ethics in English, and indicating that they subscribe to the terms of the present constitution.
- For a new member to be accepted a positive vote is required from two thirds of the presidents of member associations and organizations.
After inquiry from the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee, an association’s and organization’s membership of the WCAA will lapse at the end of a calendar year in which it fails to designate an International Delegate.
Any amendments to the present agreement should be reached through a consensus of member associations and organizations and accepted by a majority vote of two thirds of the Presidents or equivalent of the member associations and organizations.
The WCAA is not responsible or liable for any of the activities of member associations or of their respective members, nor for the unauthorized actions of WCAA office holders.
Osaka, July 12, 2008.