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WCAA Constitution

Read the constitution below (last updated in 2013), or download a PDF version of the constitution here.

To read the previous (2010) constitution, click here.

Article 1

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.

In pursuit of this objective WCAA is concerned with recognizing and debating a diversity of views and perspectives within world anthropologies whilst also seeking to identify and disseminate common concerns and conclusions. WCAA acts as a forum for communication of news, ideas and knowledge, and as a network facilitating the exchange and flow of information. This includes ethical codes and global discussion about how the profession can best respond to contemporary challenges that are themselves often the product of forces and relations beyond the level of the individual nation-state. WCAA aims to strengthen the circulation of ideas and knowledge by facilitating the dissemination of anthropological work in a multiplicity of languages to improve knowledge of world anthropologies, counteract the hegemony of English-based knowledge production, and to enable different local publics to learn about the results of anthropological research in their own languages. WCAA-sponsored panels are to be organized at meetings of member associations and its website has been developed to make it an effective instrument for providing up-to-date information and facilitating scholarly exchange. WCAA seeks to promote international networks of postgraduate students.

WCAA works to improve the profile and image of the discipline through various forms of public engagement. These include a focus on deepening and broadening anthropology’s presence in the education system and encouraging anthropologists to contribute to public debates on issues such as multiculturalism, cultural diversity and immigration, by seeking to clarify the meaning of key terms on which anthropologists hold expertise and by practicing appropriate forms of political advocacy. The WCAA itself seeks, when there is a consensus among its member associations, to issue public statements that reflect anthropological knowledge on issues such as the rights of indigenous and minority groups, as well as draw attention to arbitrary acts by states and others towards such groups and to threats to the lives and welfare of anthropologists and others. WCAA also issues statements on matters of worldwide professional concern. These include the impacts and potential biases of academic evaluation processes on the development of anthropology and of changes in funding models and the institutional organization of teaching and research in different national contexts. In some cases, such developments raise ethical concerns and pose threats to academic freedom.

Article 2

Its primary objective is to promote:

Article 3

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.

Article 4

Two of the International Delegates, or persons nominated by the Presidents of member organisations, will be elected by the Council to take on the roles of WCAA Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.

Article 5

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. In addition, a treasurer, a secretary and, if deemed appropriate by a majority of WCAA members at each biennial meeting, an additional undesignated member, will be appointed.  The treasurer will be appointed by the voting members of the Organising Committee on the recommendation of the Chair; the secretary and the undesignated member will be appointed (or re-appointed) by WCAA members attending each biennial meeting, on the recommendation of the voting members of the Organising Committee.

Article 6

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.

Article 7

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:

Article 8

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.

Article 9

Members of the WCAA will undertake to promote events aimed at showcasing the activities of other member associations and organizations in their regular conferences.

Article 10

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.

Article 11

Members who have websites will

Article 12

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.

Article 13

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.

Article 14

Members will assist in the international exchange of information about research programs, researchers and research opportunities for students and professional researchers.

Article 15

Application for membership in the WCAA is open to all associations and organizations of anthropology.

Article 16

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.

Article 17

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.

Article 18

The WCAA is not responsible or liable for any of the activities of any branch of ASF – Antropologos Sem Fronteiras / Anthropologists without Borders, of member associations or of their respective members, nor for the unauthorized actions of WCAA office holders.

Osaka, April, 2013.